Welcome for High Street funding

A £40,000 grant from Angus Council to help meet the cost of improvements to Montrose High Street has been welcomed by the group behind the scheme.

Councillors approved the funding last week at a meeting of the authority’s strategic policy committee.

Local councillor David May, who is part of the High Street Regeneration Group, has said the funding will help to finance the project which has been planned for the last two years.

The first phase of the High Street Regeneration Group’s scheme - to provide new seating, litter bins, planters and information boards in a new “corporate colour” for the town - was also backed with £10,000 from the council’s ward-based funding pot of £80,000.

Councillor May said: “I have been part of the Montrose Town Centre Group for about two years and this group have been working up proposals which recently were out for consultation to the Montrose public and the feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive.

“The improvements largely involved new seats, bins and planters and there was an agreement previously by councillors that the ward-based funding of £10,000 would go towards this but our group were aware that this would not nearly do what we had planned.

The ward-based funding was allocated by finance spokesman Councillor Mark Salmond through the authority’s budget-setting with £10,000 set aside for community projects in each council ward.

The £40,000 granted last week was also made available through this year’s budget, part of an additional capital allocation of £3.46 million of which more than £200,000 was allocated to specific projects including the High Street.

Councillor May added: “This will mean we can make much progress on improving our town centre and be more attractive for visitors as well as tourists alike.

“Certainly the feedback we received at the recent meeting of the Montrose Partnership to the possibility of being able to hugely improve the street furniture and enhance our high Street was very much welcomed.”

The project’s second phase is the addition of planters and information boards while phase three includes the replacement of the railings outside Montrose Library and Castle Place.

The street furniture’s new colour scheme - maroon - was chosen during the consultation phase launched by the regeneration group in January which received a positive response from Montrosians of all ages.

As well as being lodged in the library, questionnaires were also supplied to the YM and Montrose Academy for local youngsters to have their say.

The regeneration group has also cast its eye further afield in its efforts to spruce up areas of the town and improve their appearance. Last year it joined forces with ScotRail and the Scottish Wildlife Trust to install bird’s eye viewers at the station, allowing customers to view and appreciate the view over the Basin’s as well to appreciate the reserve’s widely diverse bird population.