Councillors have agreed a £2million package to improve town centres in Perth and Kinross including reclaiming the abandoned Drummond Arms Hotel in Crieff.
Projects in Coupar Angus, Kinross, Pitlochry and Crieff will all share part of the Scottish Government’s £50million Town Centre Fund after councillors unanimously agreed the package at a strategic policy and resource committee.
On top of the £600,000 being set aside for the Drummond Arms, £800,000 will be going towards connecting Loch Leven with Kinross Town Centre, £200,000 is earmarked for community and cycling hubs in Coupar Angus and £383,000 will go towards the development of an events space in Pitlochry.
The Drummond Arms Hotel closed over a decade ago and last year the building’s owner failed to respond to a deadline to allow access to the site so that survey work could be carried out that would have allowed restoration work.
Local councillors and community groups have long called for the site to be brought back into use in some capacity, though details of how Perth and Kinross Council plan to redevelop the building are still unknown.
Strathearn SNP councillor Stewart Donaldson highlighted the cash injection for the former hotel site saying he believed the funding was supported by all ward councillors and the community.
Mr Donaldson said: “I’m very pleased that we have made progress on the Drummond Arms.
“Maybe five or ten years ago people had given up on this as a lost cause but now it is a clear possibility. Our role is to turn it into a probability and then a reality.”
Conservative Highland councillor John Duff welcomed the money set aside for the development of a civic space in Pitlochry .
Mr Duff said: “Residents and businesses have sought to develop the area of Atholl Road in front of Bank House for a great many years and have actively expressed their aspirations for a civic space at this site.
“A well-designed mini town square would find a variety of uses all aimed at contributing to community life, increasing footfall in the town centre, helping to improve the local economy and making Pitlochry even more successful and sustainable.”
Strathmore SNP councillor Fiona Sarwar said she was “proud” to see the new community and cycling hubs being delivered in Coupar Angus.
Ms Sarwar said: “I have lobbied hard for the Coupar Angus projects to be included in the council’s plans for this cash.
“I am really pleased to hear that the Coupar Angus Hub and Cycle Hub will benefit from this funding and the projects will be a great asset for the town.”
Council Leader and committee convener Murray Lyle said: “I’m sure all of these projects will make significant difference to the economies of these towns.”