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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Perth & Kinross

Police called to Strathallan osprey nest because of “suspicious vehicle”

March 19 2015

The row over T in the Park's move to Strathallan Castle took a bizarre twist on Wednesday when police were called out because of a "suspicious" vehicle spotted near an osprey nest. Festival organisers DF Concerts are building a new osprey nest after concerns were raised that the festival would disturb a nest used by two ospreys near the site. Police received an anonymous call on Wednesday morning after a cherry picker was spotted near the original nest. The Strathallan T Action Group claims that if the ospreys return to their original nest then the festival may not be able to go ahead because of a "buffer zone" that would need to be created to protect the birds. A spokeswoman for the STAG told STV: "Strathallan’s ospreys, Earl and Countess, are due back any day now. We are extremely concerned that the estate has chosen this moment to begin their maintenance work and we are suspicious that they have chosen this precise section of what is a three-mile-long driveway. "Why would a cherry picker be being used for road maintenance? Our concern is that this vehicle, which is currently parked very close to the existing nest, may be used either to remove the nest or to scare the ospreys away from it, should they return to it." Officers later traced the vehicle and discovered it was carrying out survey work for DF Concerts. A spokeswoman for the T in the Park organisers accused STAG of wasting police time and taxpayers' money. She said: "This is an absurd accusation. How can we disturb something that is not there? "We are a responsible company and take the protection of the osprey extremely seriously which is why our ornithologist, who is a leading expert in his field, is onsite every day awaiting the potential return of the birds to ensure their safety. "Suggestions to the contrary are inaccurate, unhelpful and a total waste of police time and taxpayers' money." Although tens of thousands of revellers are expected to attend this year's T in the Park - which had to be moved from its previous home at Balado because of safety concerns - the festival does not yet have planning permission. Perth and Kinross Council is expected to make a final decision in May.

Perth & Kinross

T in the Park relocation grant paid two weeks after festival

August 17 2015

The £150,000 state handout awarded to T in the Park by the Scottish Government was paid two weeks after the festival took place at Strathallan Estate. The one-off payment was agreed in July to aid with relocation costs. In a written answer to Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith, culture secretary Fiona Hyslop also revealed that promoters DF Concerts will have to repay £50,000 each year if the festival does not take place at Stathallan in 2016 and 2017. T in the Park was forced to move from its previous home at Balado by Kinross because of safety concerns regarding an oil pipe running through the festival site. Strathallan Estate was chosen as its new home, despite concerns about the whether or not the site could cope with the influx of traffic T in the Park would cause. It emerged last month the festival had been awarded £150,000 state aid by the Scottish Government to assist with the move. In total the festival has received nearly £400,000 Scottish Government funding over the past three years, even though DF Concerts is 78% owned by LN-Gaiety Holdings Ltd, a company which posted pre-tax profits of £9 million last year. A Scottish Government condition of the funding was that T in the Park takes place at Strathallan in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Ms Hsylop said the decision to award the grant to T in the Park came after a meeting between Ms Hyslop and DF Concerts’ chief executive Geoff Elliss and the company’s business development manager Jo Blyth on May 28. The meeting had been arranged by Jennifer Dempsie, who was then working on a short-term contract as a project manager for DF Concerts. Ms Dempsie, a Courier columnist, did not attend the meeting. A former advisor to Alex Salmond, Ms Dempsie is seeking to become an SNP parliamentary candidate. In her response Ms Hyslop said: “The meeting was arranged for May 28 due to the proximity of the event and the extreme difficulties being faced by the organisers in relation to delivering an event the scale of T in the Park at a new site and on a temporary basis, as determined by a condition of the planning decision made less than nine weeks in advance of the event being staged. “DF Concerts and Events outlined a range of additional costs associated with the change of site for the T in the Park event and highlighted unanticipated further costs resulting from the time-limited condition attached to the planning consent. “DF Concerts and Events confirmed that the 2015 event could be delivered under pressure but that the additional costs faced in relation to it were a threat to its longer term viability on that site. She added: “The level of funding support provided this year by the Scottish Government to DF Concerts and Events for T in the Park is in line with the level of funding provided by Scottish Government and its bodies to the organisers of other major events such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the John Muir Festival, the World Pipe Band Championships, Celtic Connections and the International Book Festival. “The Scottish Government funding was made as a contribution to assist DF Concerts and Events in ensuring a successful transition of T in the Park to Strathallan.” Ms Hyslop added: “In order to protect the future staging of the event in Scotland, a key condition attached to the grant offer, which was accepted by DF Concerts and Events, was that the T in the Park event take place at Strathallan in 2015, 2016 and 2017. A specific claw-back condition is attached to the grant stipulating that the amount of £50,000 be repaid by DF Concerts and Events to the Scottish Government for each and any year (2015, 2016 or 2017) that the event does not take place at Strathallan.” “The grant was paid by the Scottish Government to DF Concerts and Events on July 24 2015.” DF Concerts said at the meeting the 2015 event would go ahead "under pressure" but the festival's longer-trem future at Strathallan was at risk because of other costs. A spokeswoman for the Strathallan T Action Group, which campaigned against the festival, said: "'We strongly disagree with the Scottish Government’s decision to grant £150,000 to help DF Concerts stage TITP 2015, given the company's past profits and the financial clout of shareholders and the event's sponsors. "The grant was presumably agreed on the assumption that TITP 2015 would be a well-organised and safe event. It fell very far short of the mark. Strathallan Castle is not a suitable site for a festival of this size and nature. DFC should recognise this and find an alternative site for next year and beyond. "We believe they should repay all the money, not just the £100k under the clawback provisions of the grant which apply if the event is not held at Strathallan for the next two years.It would be a strange decision for a company to persist with an unsuitable venue just to save £50,000 or £100,000." For more on this story see Tuesday’s Courier.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Perth & Kinross

Colourful displays at the Perth and Kinross Federation of the SWI spring show

March 22 2017

The Perth and Kinross Federation of the SWI held its annual spring show at the Bankfoot Church Centre. The event had displays and competitions on various themes including handcrafts, bulbs and floral art. Federation chairman, Ursula Stewart, said: “We are celebrating the centenary of the SWI and this show in particular has a record number of entries and we have the grand tea party being held in July at Perth Racecourse still to look forward to." Trophy winners - Margaret Anderson Trophy,  Best entry in Housewives Section, 1  Alison Harrison, Glenfarg. Chariman’s choice from the whole Show, Caithness Glass Bowl donated by Kathleen Scott – 1 Christine Wood  (Drimmieburn and Meikleour) Napkin from Community. Imlay Quacih for most points in the Floral Art Section – 1 Linda Retson, Rattray. Margaret Mackay Trophy, Education Competition – 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo. Heather Hallum Trophy, runner-up in Margaret Mackay Education Competition - Susan McGhie, Institute  Kinglands. Charlotte MacLean Trophy, best embroidered article overall – 1 Christine McConnell, Institute  Strathallan. Margaret McLean Salver, best knitted article in handcraft section – 1 Edith Lennon, Institute   Kinglands. Margaret Nisbet Trophy, most points in bulb section Nos. 1-7 – 1 Sandra Batty      , Institute   Dull and District. Greta Scott Shield - winning institute in the community competition – 1 Blackford,  points 64 Isobel Robertson Salver, most points overall – 1 Sandra Batty, Institute ,  Dull and District. Margaret Folan Novice Quaich, novice classes – 1 Hayley Cassells, Institute Cleish. The Retson Junior Trophy, ages 10 – 14 class – 1 Ella Balanowski, Institute  Scone. Results - Handcrafts, Clock Cushion (any craft)  - 1 Margot Moran, Glenfarg; 2 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 3 P. Stewart, Dunning. Alice Band – 1 Elspeth Campbell, Kinloch; 2 Margot Moran, Glenfarg; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. Needle Felted Doormouse - 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 3 Sarah Urie, Burrelton and Woodside. Crocheted Coasters – 1 Edith Christie, Drimmieburn and Meikleour; 2 Margo Murray, Rattray and District; 3 Dorothy Morris, Cleish. Article in Stumpwork – 1 Maureen Jones, Kinglands; 2 Marie Abott, Butterstone; 3 Sheila Brugees, Butterstone. Knitted Cakes – 1 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 2 Linda Thomson, Kinglands; 3 Dorothy Morris, Cleish. Sewn Waistcoat 1 Hazel Ward, Birnam and Dunkeld; 2 Julia Robertson, Burrelton and Woodside; 3 Alice Nairn, Dunning. Painting- Alice’s Garden, any medium – 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo; 2 Alison Harrison, Glenfarg; Muriel Bell, Glenfarg Knitted tweedled muff- Centenary Competition- to be donated – 1 C. Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Edith Lennon, Kinglands. Housewives, Chocolate Brownies – 1 Irene McWilliam, Midatholl and Southtayside; 2 Christine Strathie, Collace and Kinrossie; 3 Geraldine Miller, Muthill. Chelsea Buns – 1 Lynda Stuart, Glenfarg; 2 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 3 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. Sausage Rolls  - 1 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 2 Christine Strathie, Collace and Kinrossie; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. Cake Incorporating a vegetable – 1 Susan McGhie, Kinglands; 2 Lesley Buchan; 3 Anne Mailler, Scone. Potato Scones  - 1 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Janet Shanks, Strathallan. Small jar of jam, marmalade and chutney – 1 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder; 2 Elspeth Campbell, Kinloch; 3 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. Viennese Fingers – 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 3 Frances Drysdale, Carnbo. Spray of Flowers in sugar craft – 1 Alison Harrison, Glenfarg; 2 Mary Webster, Clunie; 3 Ursula Stewart, Glenfarg. Children’s Section, Up to age 5 – 1 Iris Balanowski, Scone      ; 2 Hannah Cullen, Scone; 3 Alesha Murison, Glenfarg. Age 6-9 – 1 Lucy Moran, Glenfarg; 2 Adam Balanowski, Scone; 3 Charlie Mailer, Scone. Age 10-14 – 1 Ella Balanowski, Scone; 2 Rebecca Hogg, Butterstone; 3 Michela Hogg, Butterstone. Education Competition, Margaret MacKay Trophy  - 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo; 2 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. One Bowl of 3 Hyacinths – 1 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands; Lesley Buchan, Strathallan; 3 Margot Moran, Glenfarg. Single Hyacinth-  1 Susan McGhie, Kinglands; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Lelsey Buchan, Strathallan. One Bowl daffodils-  1 Margaret Cummings, Kinglands; 2 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. One Bowl Tulips – 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Lesley Buchan, Strathallan; 3 H W Reid, Stanley. One Bowl Crocus-  1 Kim Stretch, Amulree; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Margot Moran, Glenfarg. One Amaryllis Bulb – 1 Margaret Cummings, Kinglands; 2 Dorothy Morris, Cleish; 3 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands. Flowering Pot Plant – 1 C, Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 3 Lilias Ferguson, Kinglands. Floral Art, Exhibit incorporating pocket watch-  1 Linda Retson, Rattray and District; 2 Margaret Folan, Bridge of Earn; 3 Beth Pringle, Cleish. Exhibit “Alice in Wonderland” – 1 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 2 Margaret Folan, Bridge of Earn; 3 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder. Arrangement in a teacup and saucer – 1 C. Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Lesley Buchan, Strathallan. Arrangement on a mirror – 1 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder. Novice, Decorated Gingerbread People – 1 Hayley Cassells, Cleish; 2 Margaret McArthur,Auchterarder. Crocheted Bag – 1 Muriel Anderson, Longforgan; 2 Margaret McArthur, Aucterarder; 3 Hayley Cassells, Cleish. Photograph with caption-  1 Hayley Cassells, Cleish; 2 Kim Stretch, Amulree; 3 Margaret McArthur, Auchterarder. Community Section – 1 Blackford, Points 64; 2 Madderty, Points 63.5; 3 Glenfarg, Points 62.5.


Glenalmond 8 Strathallan 52: Brilliant Strathallan too strong for Glenalmond in All-Perthshire Schools Final

December 6 2017

Favourites Strathallan School claimed their first Scottish Schools Cup with a hugely impressive all-round display and a record points total overpowering a brave Glenalmond College team at BT Murrayfield. Playing at a pace their near-neighbours couldn’t cope with, the first All-Perthshire final in the competition’s history was always Strathallan’s after a three-try response to conceding a score after barely a minute had been played. Strath’s power and athleticism in the pack with skipper Murphy Walker and towering lock Cameron Henderson prominent, combined with real speed in the backline brilliantly marshalled by stand-off Ross McCorkindale and man of the match centre Angus Vipond, left Glenalmond living off scraps of possession. Full-back Ben Morrison, skipper Rafe Houston and big tighthead George Breese did what they could, but Strath always seemed to have an extra gear or off-load when it mattered, despite the constant rain throughout. "It's huge for the school," said captain Walker. "We'd been in four semi-finals before and never quite got through but to get here and win is a some achievement. "We were given a little fright at the start but we always thought we'd come through if we kept playing as we can." Glenealmond director of rugby Graham Smith said that he was proud of his team. "We knew who were were playing against, they are a quality side. Our only aim was to play better than the last time we played them and we did. "We tried to play attractive and entertaining rugby and never gave up." Underdog Glenalmond stunned the favourites with a brilliant try – the first scored against Strathallan in the cup this season - after just 80 seconds on their first real attack of the game. From a solid scrum on halfway, captain Houston attacked the line and made a clean break, beating another defender and then throwing a fine miss-pass to the supporting Morrison, who flew in for the opening score. However the full-back had to drop-kick the conversion as the ball fell off the tee and missed, and Strathallan quickly responded. As Glenalmond tried to exit their own 22 from the restart, the Strath pack turned the ball over, and there was a neat combination between McCorkindale and Ollie Smith to put Calum McKeown in behind the posts, Vipond adding the simple conversion. And Strath’s speed and dynamism made further inroads as their big pack began to dominate the ball, massive lock Henderson proving a huge force. The Glenalmond defence showed some tenacious resistance but first Struan Robertson darted from a ruck for his side’s second try, and within three minutes Finlay Laird just got the ball down at the corner after McKeown again came into the line at pace. Vipond converted both for a 21-5 lead and Glenalmond needed some time on the ball, a timely interception providing it only for Strathallan to show their strength in defence. Morrison kicked a penalty as Glenalmond got some reward for their endeavour, but in the final minutes of the half Strath reasserted control with two more tries. Glenalmond thought they’d stopped a Strath attack forcing a fumble from Smith, but the hack clear ended the advantage and the ball ended in the hands of wing Tom Clark, who weaved his way through tackles for a brilliant solo score. Just before the break McCorkindale made a smart break, off-loaded to Robertson and although the lock was held short, No 8 Alex Marsh followed up for Strath’s fifth try of the first half. There was no respite for Glenalmond as the second half began, a set move off lineout ball and McCorkindale’s neat pass to Laird allowing the wing to gallop in from 35 metres for his second try. Glenalmond got a lift from a couple of fine runs by Morrison, but when Strath got the ball back they were ruthless again, powering through the forwards and then opening up wide, with Vipond slicing through for the seventh try from 25 metres, converting it himself. The impressive Smith scored a deserved try in the dying minutes to take the score over the half-century. In the Under-16 final, George Watson’s College were much too strong for Stewart’s Melville, running out 64-19 winners. Glenalmond College: Ben Morrison; Thomas Roynon Brown, Ben Porter, Will Laird, Miles Kinge; Rafe Houston (capt), Thomas Godfrey-Faussett; Ruairidh Orr Ewing, Finn McCarthy, Goerge Breese; Angis Fitzpatrick, James Houldsworth; Jock Stodart, Cameron Bullard, Tom Porter. Replacements: Wilf Weir, Jamie Morrison, Jack Denton, Henry Marlow, Luarence Kinge, Robert Leader, Will Arnot. Strathallan School: Calum McKeown; Tom Clark, Ollie Smith, Angus Vipond, Finlay Laird; Ross McCorkindale, Aedan Brennan; Hamish White, Greg Clunas, Murphy Walker (capt); Struan Robertson, Cameron Henderson; Lewis Webster, Alex Marsh, Yanick Sutcliffe. Replacements: Cairn Ramsay, Edward Murray-John, Rory Bayne, Lewis Louden, James McCaig. Referee: Ian Kenny.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Perth & Kinross

Strathallan celebrates opening of new £1.2m dance studio

March 28 2016

A £1.2 million dance studio has opened at an independent Perthshire school. The building at Strathallan took eight months to construct and is part of a major £18.2 million investment programme. It provides 150 sq m of studio space large enough for 30 pupils as well as a staff office, changing rooms and toilets. Constructed by Thomas Johnstone Ltd, of Renfrew, the dance and drama studio features a curved roof, timber cladding and a mix of LED lights and natural light. It will be used as a rehearsal and workshop space and will be a permanent home for students of ballet, Highland and contemporary dance. Audiovisual equipment will allow students to reflect on their learning. Mary Robertson-Barnett, who is in charge of expressive arts at Strathallan, said: “To have a space dedicated to the performing arts is an enormous privilege. We can’t wait for our students to make maximum use of the new space, and continue with our reputation as a home for excellence in performing arts.” The studio is joined to the Wilson Hall, a £1.4m multi-sports arena that is the size of three tennis or netball courts and has banked seating for 219 spectators. Together they form Phases 2 and 3 of Strathallan’s Centenary Project and will serve to cement the school as not only a top academic institution but also as one with state-of-the-art facilities. Anthony Glasgow, bursar at Strathallan, added: “This is the latest stage of a major investment programme which has seen £18.2m invested in the school over the last 15 years. “It provides facilities to develop drama and dance, which are increasingly popular activities at Strathallan, and means we are exceptionally well equipped to cater for the needs of our pupils going forward.” Strathallan was founded in 1913 by Harry Riley in Bridge of Allan. In 1920 he moved the school to its current site in Forgandenny near Perth. The campus includes a 19th Century country house, boarding houses with modern accommodation, senior houses with individual study bedrooms and common room and leisure facilities. Outdoor facilities include seven rugby pitches, four cricket squares and 12 tennis courts.

Perth & Kinross

T in the Park bosses submit Strathallan plan

October 1 2014

As the Ryder Cup moves on, attention shifts once again to Strathallan’s other behemoth event T in the Park. Bosses have made their move to surmount the planning hurdle to staging next summer’s event at Strathallan Castle. DF Concerts, who run the massive event, lodged “pre-application plan” documents with Perth and Kinross Council, having been instructed to do so by the Scottish Government. They contain a basic outline of what work is required and what will be put in place on the site chosen to replace Balado as the home of Scotland’s biggest music festival. Importantly, they also include details of the consultation process DF Concerts have been required to undertake after hugepressure from the local community and politicians. Bosses have stressed that community consultation has been ongoing for some time, but two exhibitions will be held next month. The first will take place at the Aytoun Hall in Auchterarder on ThursdayNovember 20, between 4pm and 8pm. DF Concerts staff will be available todiscuss the event and traffic, noise andenvironmental matters in particular. A second public consultation event and exhibition will take place at the Strathearn Community Campus in Crieff on Friday November 21, between 10am and 2pm. The documents lodged with the council precede a full planning application, which will be submitted in the new year following the public consultation. They state that the organisers will apply for permission to allow “engineering and other operations to facilitate the establishment and use of a venue for the purposes of holding a music event”. These will include commissioning, decommissioning, ancillary excavations or engineering operations and formation, alteration, improvement and/or maintenance of roads and private means of access. In addition, the document sets out that the organisers will ask for “the use ofexisting buildings and land in July each year” for the purposes of holding thefestival and associated activities. These are listed as “a funfair, cinema, sale and consumption of hot and cold food and drink and alcohol, vehicle parking and temporary accommodation, including camping”. Organisers will also have to submit an environmental impact assessment after the Scottish Government raised a number of environmental issues, including thepresence of ospreys nesting on the site. They have already confirmed that the attendance at next year’s event will be the same as that of the past three years atBalado, commenting that there are“no plans” to increase the size of theaudience. The papers also contain a map of theproposed site at Strathallan Castle,indicating the area of grounds required for the event. Its size amply illustrates the scale of the event that is seeking to come to Strathallan next year, though a spokeswoman for T in the Park stressed that it was unlikely the full site would be required, describing parts as “contingency” only.