Work is under way on the first Angus roadside services project in decades.
International independent forecourt firm Euro Garages has started building a new filling station and retail development at Orchardbank, adjacent to the A90 Forfar by-pass.
Economic development chiefs have hailed the start of a scheme, which could bring up to 60 new jobs, as a shot in the arm for the local area in the early stages of post-pandemic recovery.
The two-and-a-half acre site, opposite the Angus House local authority HQ on Forfar’s western gateway will include a petrol station, retail unit, restaurant, drive-through and coffee shop.
In addition, the site will provide electrical charging hubs, further increasing the network available in Angus.
The new Orchardbank development will add to current occupiers including McDonald’s, KFC, Marston’s, the Guide Dogs Scottish Training Centre and print firm Astute (Scotland).
Approval for the development was granted in 2018.
Angus Council economic development spokesman councillor Braden Davy said: “We are delighted to see Euro Garages begin work at Orchardbank.
“This investment demonstrates their confidence in Angus and will bring up to 60 full and part-time jobs.
“Despite the impact of recent worldwide events on our local economy, I am delighted to see that national businesses are continuing to invest in our area, securing jobs and helping us on the road to recovery,” said the Forfar Conservative.
Orchardbank Business Park is managed jointly by Angus Council and Hermiston Securities with options industrial, office, commercial and hotel development opportunities existing on the site.
Euro Garages has similar plans for forecourt, retail and drive-thru development of the former Guthrie Brothers site on North Esk Road, Montrose after acquiring the long-established family-run operation in spring 2019.
EG Group also had ambitions to develop the former Seaforth Hotel site in Arbroath, but proposals for a petrol station and shops were rejected by Angus planners earlier this year.
The hotel was destroyed by fire in 2006 and the site has lain empty since.
The site has been the subject of a number of planning proposals, including a green-light for a hotel and restaurant in 2018.
EG group said a study had indicated the provision of roadside accommodation on the site would not be economically viable due to a lack of demand.
Angus Council rejected the bid after officials said the plan was not a suitable use for a site earmarked for hotel and/or leisure, tourism and recreation use.