Funding problems for Wharf Street

an AMBITIOUS £100,000 plan to create a community area on the quayside at Wharf Street has hit a stumbling block after being refused Lottery funding.

Under the proposals, drawn up by Montrose Heritage Trust, the area of ground between the Bamse statue and the site of the RNLI’s new lifeboat station would be tidied up, landscaped and a new “significant feature” included, possibly associated with Montrose’s maritime history.

There are also plans to install uplighting at the William Lamb statue ‘The Seafarer’ and erect decorative railings along the waterfront.

The project, unveiled last September, was developed in partnership with the RNLI, Angus Council and Montrose Port Authority and hinged on the application to the Big Lottery Scotland Community Spaces Fund.

Heritage trust chairman Dr Andrew Orr said the designs for the project, which have received “a great measure” of support, demonstrate the possibility of linking up all the features of the quayside in a “unified panoramic vista”.

The plans had also been displayed in Montrose Library as part of a public consultation and Southesk Primary School pupils ran a project on the idea to come up with their own ideas of how they would like the area to look.

Dr Orr also said the refusal for funding has come as a huge disappointment to the trust and its supporters but vowed that the project will still be pursued.

He said: “A huge amount of work has to go into a Lottery bid like this, involving many people over many months. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone in the community who has supported us in our application.

“But we must not despair. This is still unfinished business as far as Montrose Heritage Trust is concerned. We now have a well worked up proposal and have demonstrated wholehearted support in the community.

“We will look out for some other funding sources, and hope that our councillors and the officers of Angus Council will do the same. This is a project well worth completing for the benefit of our Royal Burgh.”

Local councillor David May, who is also a trust member, said he has already met with the local authority’s external funding officer to discuss alternatives for the scheme, but a single funding source is looking unlikely.

He said: “We’ve been given some ideas which we will explore, but at the moment things don’t look terribly positive.

“The funding sources suggested won’t match what we need to do it properly but I’ll be discussing that with Andrew Orr quite soon.

“It’s disappointing from the point of view of what’s available but things to come up so I have hopes for the future.

“What has been proposed is first-class but at the moment we’d only be able to get a small contribution to the considerable sums required.”