Plans in hand to freshen up town centre

BY THE time you read this, the sum of £10,000 is likely to have been approved for town centre improvements in Montrose.

These would include new seating, litter bins, planters and information boards.

Phase One of the Montrose Town Centre Regeneration Project will be funded by the £10,000, if the infrastructure services committee rubber-stamped the recommendations for Angus Council’s ward-based funding pot last night (Tuesday).

Local councillor Mark Salmond, who is the authority’s finance spokesperson, allocated a pot of £80,000 through the budget setting process to be distributed at £10,000 per Angus Burgh ward (Arbroath has two wards). The money was to be used on community projects.

Councillor Salmond said: “Each of the Angus Burgh wards was allocated £10,000 and it was left to the burgh councillors to bring forward projects which they feel will bring improvements to the quality of their towns.”

The Montrose councillors agreed to use the money to make the above improvements to the town centre.

Councillor Salmond added: “I set up a Town Centre Regeneration Group with the aim to make the town centre a more functional place to visit and work in. Councillor [David] May joined me and we have been working together with a small group of locals to bring these plans to fruition. If the £10,000 bid is agreed it will mean that we can commence with Phase One, whereby new seats and litter bins of similar designs and in a corporate colour will be situated around the High Street area.

“Our plans are worked up and we will be going out to public consultation in the next few weeks to gauge the Montrose public’s views on the designs, and looking for feedback on the appropriate colour scheme for the new street furniture.

“The Mermaid Lamps, which were installed in the town centre before Christmas, were deliberately left in their base coat colour as it is our intention to have them painted in the new colour once we receive the public’s feedback.”

He concluded: “Phase Two of the project will be the addition of planters and information boards and Phase Three will be the replacement of the railings, to their original design, outside Montrose Library and Castle Place. Funding options are currently be explored to deliver Phases Two and Three but the first phase is deliverable if the committee agrees to the £10,000 funding bid.”

Councillor May commented: “The Town Regeneration Group have over the past couple of years put a considerable amount of effort into drawing up plans to try to improve our town centre and these plans will very soon be out for public consultation. The money allocated in this report gives us the opportunity to move forward with at least some of what is proposed and the view of the people in the town will determine the way forward though this report provides the funding.”