Covering up Forfar’s globally famous catwalk coup is one of the Angus Council capital projects which has taken a Covid-19 hit.
The Restenneth dump to the east of the town is to be restored with more than 150,000 tonnes of soil material before being covered with a geo-membrane in a project stretching over some two decades.
It took Angus waste for nearly 20 years until its 2018 closure.
But the site gained international fame from the most unlikely of sources as a fashion shoot setting selected by international designer Stella McCartney to show off her couture as models strutted their stuff among the bin bags.
Italian Vogue then also visited Angus with a top-name model who posed in front of discarded mattresses as diggers worked away in the background on mountains of waste.
However, Restenneth is among a list of affected projects in what Angus finance chief Ian Lorimer has declared an “unprecedented low level” of capital projects spend during the pandemic.
Mr Lorimer said: “With eight months of the financial year gone, the actual spend levels are extremely low, at 28.6% on a gross basis and 46.9% on a net basis respectively.
“This unprecedented low level of actual expenditure to date is a direct result of the lockdown imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular the shutdown of the construction industry and the delay in reopening sites, which must be compliant with new protocols introduced to ensure the health and safety of personnel on site.”
He told policy and resources councillors Angus was in a similar position to authorities across Scotland and work is continuing to deliver projects “as quickly as we can”.
SEPA ransomware attack also led to delay
The Restenneth delay is also thought to have taken a further hit as result of a festive season cyber-attack on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
The organisation’s emails and contacts were locked in the Christmas Eve ransomware attack which it is suspected international groups were behind.
More than 1GB of data was stolen and the incident remains under investigation by Police Scotland and the National Cyber Security Centre.
Leisure equipment investment on hold
Other capital projects which suffered significant disruption last year include work to repair Angus roads and paths.
Officials said that as due to a combination of slippage caused by winter weather and a shortage of staff to design and award contracts within the projected timescale.
A £141,000 allocation to deliver future burial land in Arbroath has also been pushed into next year due to continuing issues over identifying a suitable site.
Re-phasing of the A90 to Montrose link road project will also take place, a scheme which was earmarked for almost £1m of capital spend.
And due to Covid-19, projected investment of almost £400,000 on the replacement of leisure equipment across Angus is expected to be a zero figure on the final balance sheet.
Mr Lorimer added: “Delays are very project specific and there are a variety of reasons.
“Sometimes staffing, sometimes disruption caused by the pandemic directly.
“What we have tried to do is put a realistic assessment on the phasing of these projects.
“We are trying to deliver them as quickly as we can,” he said.
Council finance spokesman Angus Macmillan Douglas said: “There has been much greater than normal under-expenditure, but it is almost all due directly or indirectly to Covid-19.
“It has been very difficult to manage throughout this year, however officers have done their utmost to continue capital expenditure.
“We have tried our best to keep projects going and have split companies into local parcels – the more we can do on that, the more local jobs we can safeguard,” he said.