A project to create a safe walking route through Auchterarder has taken a major step forward as Perth and Kinross Council signed off a £100,000 grant.
Members of the Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) are trying to raise £552,000 to rebuild the Provost Walk, to make it suitable for cyclists, prams and wheelchair users.
Working with Auchterarder Community Sports and Recreation, the team has already completed two phases transform the path from Ruthven Street to Coalbore Well and up to Jubilee Park.
Now, the council’s environment and infrastructure committee has given the green light for £100,000 of the Auchterarder Community Facilities Fund to finish the final phase from Jubilee Park towards Blackford.
Bid Strachan, communities officer for PKCT, said: “We’re delighted that £100,000 of funding for phase three of the Provost Walk upgrade has been approved, this is a huge step forward to making this the project happen.
“The upgrade of the path will change a muddy and uneven track to a modern, multi-user path suitable for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users.
“The community have worked so extremely hard to achieve this and we’re pleased to be able to help and support them. The whole project will cost £552,000 so this has helped get us a long way towards the target.
“We would like to thank the councillors and the council’s environmental infrastructure committee.”
Phase one, which started in January 2017, resulted in 576 metres of muddy path being upgraded to make an accessible footpath.
The second phase, linking Jubilee Public Park to the end of the phase one path, opened in August.
A celebration was held to mark the grand opening, when more than 60 people walked the new path, before enjoying sausage rolls, cake and fizz.
Phase three will complete the path. Work has also included solar lights to make the route safe at night, as well as benches placed every few hundred metres.
The facilities fund was set up to provide community benefit from the massive new housing developments being built in and around Auchterarder. For every house built, private developers must contribute £1,000, up to a total of £600,000, for the benefit of the community.
The final stretch of Provost Walk is narrow, uneven and has poor drainage. It features crumbling old steps, leading to the road, which will be replaced with a gradual slope to allow access on foot, wheels and horseback.
Donations can be made at www.pkct.org/Appeal/upgrade-provost-walk.