The figurehead of award-winning charity Showcase the Street has said he looks forward to updating a Royal supporter of progress on an ambitious sports and community project for Arbroath.
Showcase chairman Fergus Storrier revealed Princess Anne is keeping a close eye on the pioneering multi-million pound scheme.
Work is expected to begin shortly on the Seaton Park site after councillors enthusiastically backed the community asset transfer of the one-time Arbroath Sporting Club ground.
Plastic roads and recycled bricks will be used in the creation of a 3G sports pitch, while the community centre will feature pioneering virtual reality technology to create virtual working environments for employability training.
Development will be UK construction industry showcase
Local architects say it will be a construction industry showcase for creating low-carbon facilities from almost entirely recycled materials.
The Princess Royal is closely connected to the Chaffinch Trust, a north-east based organisation which encourages charities to work together to achieve even more.
Showcase secured funding from Zero Waste Scotland for the project and Mr Storrier said it was through that body that the Chaffinch Trust link developed.
“The context of the building and what it means for the area is what changed the goalposts for the whole project,” said Fergus.
“It’s a UK first in Arbroath and Angus in terms of the multi-use educational aspect,” he said.
“And it is right on the doorstep of one of the areas which needs is most, and has suffered more during the pandemic.”
Zoom call update scheduled with Princess Royal
He added: “We were invited down to meet Princess Anne to speak about the project, but it became an online call because of the situation.
“We now have a follow-up meeting arranged with her at the start of March and I’m looking forward to updating her.
Local firm Voigt Architects have been working with Showcase the Street since the inception of the scheme five years ago.
Architect Jonathan Reeve said: “The construction industry in responsible for 60% of UK materials use and the built environment accounts for around 45% of total carbon emissions so it has never been more important to design and construct buildings that are more sustainable.
“The facility will be the first building of its kind in Scotland built using approximately 90% of recycled, reclaimed or low carbon construction materials.
“The project already has full planning permission and we are currently working hard to develop the designs with a local design team to transform the project into an ultra-sustainable low carbon building working alongside Zero Waste Scotland, the Chaffinch Trust and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.”
He said key features they hope to incorporate in the project include recycled plastic roads and parking, air source heat pumps, an innovative recycled brick and low carbon concrete.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the project realised so the local community and Arbroath as a whole can benefit from the building and its facilities,” said Mr Reeve.