Tomorrow, councillors will decide if they want to go ahead with the proposal to reallocate funds from a Scottish Governments grant which was set to build a ‘civic space’.
Because of four reasons highlighted by officers, the council will not meet the criteria to go-ahead with the plans to create a shared space with room for markets in Pitlochry.
The Scottish Governments Town Centre Fund is designed ‘to enable local authorities to stimulate and support place-based economic investments’.
However, the council have identified four barriers which will prevent them from fulfilling the commitment using this grant money.
Officers included in the paper, ‘it has not been possible to develop a proposal that supports broader regeneration and development of the adjacent site’, while also completing the project in the predicted timescale.
Firstly, they say that the adjacent landowner ‘is not in a position to confirm details that would support investment in the space at the Memorial Garden.’
Secondly, they point to a lack of officers on hand who would be available to handle the project amidst the other responses to the Coronavirus crisis.
Another problem comes back to the response to the COVID outbreak, adding their ‘resources being redeployed to respond to identified priorities as a result of the pandemic’ mean there is no time to arrange for anyone else to take on handling the project.
And finally, they say, ‘There is insufficient time to secure statutory consents that would be required’ before the limit for the money to be spent by the fund is up.
If councillors agree to this proposal from the funding will stay in Pitlochry but be diverted to other projects in the area.
Although, the council are prepared to continue with the project, but using other means such as finding funding through the ‘capital programme or via external funding.’
But the council want to stress that Pitlochry will still receive investment from the fund with a Local new ‘Full Fibre Network project.’
In addition, with other funding, the ‘Town Wi-Fi’ project is set to ‘go “live” very shortly.’