Communities along the banks of the River Almond will be given greater protection from flooding following the opening of a £25 million protection scheme.
The flood-prone Almondbank and Lochty areas are now safeguarded by a series of improvements, including flood walls, raised embankments and erosion protection measures.
Perth and Kinross Council has worked with contractors Balfour Beatty to replace two road bridges over the East Pow Burn and a footbridge on the River Almond.
The Cricket Ground playing field has been modified to act as a flood storage area while the community sports pavilion has been replaced as part of the project.
Concerns over surface water flooding have been addressed with additional drainage measures, modifications to road drainage systems and the creation of surface water pumping stations.
Conservative councillor Angus Forbes, convener of the council’s environment and infrastructure committee, said: “I have witnessed the impact of flooding in communities across Scotland, which can be devastating.
“With this scheme in place we can offer greater assurance and peace of mind to the residents and communities of Almondbank and Lochty that there is protection in place when we are faced with severe weather events in the future.”
Council bosses said at least £5.1m of the project’s total spend had been put back into the community, including £2.6m spent with local small to medium enterprises.
Steps were also taken to ensure 68% of the workforce employed on the scheme came from the local area.
Hector MacAulay, managing director of Balfour Beatty’s regional business in Scotland and Ireland, said: “It has been a privilege to work with the community of Almondbank in delivering this critical flood protection scheme.
“In addition to achieving a Gold Green Apple award for environmental best practice, the project has provided £5.1 million of added social value, including £1.7 million added through our various local employment and skills development programmes.”
Almondbank and Lochty have experienced a history of flooding from the River Almond and the East Pow Burn, with serious incidents in 1993, 1999 and in January 2011.
The council and its consultants, Mouchel – now changed to WSP – developed the £25m scheme to reduce the risk of flooding to the community, property and the local infrastructure while, at the same time, minimising the impact on the surrounding environment.