Angus councillors will be given an update on the Arbroath A Place for Everyone project including details of the final estimated cost for delivery, and members will be asked to agree to proceed with this ambitious, transformational scheme at a special meeting to be held on Thursday 19 October.
In 2015, a series of consultations with the communities of Arbroath began, which repeatedly highlighted that the dual carriageway through the town was creating a divide between the town centre, the bus and train stations as well as key tourism destinations, and the coast. The community also felt that the road was a physical deterrent to pedestrians and cyclists and that this physical barrier impacted the High Street, reducing accessibility, viability and footfall, as well as the overall pride in place.
Financial support for a bold and transformational project in Arbroath was sought and in July 2019, the Scottish Government announced that funding under the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme had been awarded to Angus Council. The Arbroath project is amongst the most ambitious projects being funded by the Places for Everyone programme, with Arbroath the first of Scotland’s towns to receive the highest level of funding available through the scheme.
When completed, Arbroath, A Place For Everyone will provide an exemplary walking, wheeling and cycling route, accessible to all, connecting destinations throughout Arbroath and improving accessibility in the town by restoring those areas and facilities disconnected by the current road, creating a seafront people will increasingly want to use. The project also aims help to improve the local economy through increased footfall to shopping areas and attractions for locals and visitors.
The overall project cost was estimated at £13.2 million, £9.267 of which was awarded to Angus Council by Sustrans in 2019. An increase in costs due to COVID-19 delays, high inflation and a rise in construction costs has seen the project cost increase. However, £1.437 million of cost savings has been identified from value engineering – making changes to specifications without compromising the design or quality of the project. This leaves an increase of £1.36 million in project costs remaining. Additional funding has been secured from Sustrans and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to cover this shortfall.
Arbroath, A Place for Everyone, has the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime, transformational project for Arbroath and a catalyst for the development of further projects to support the regeneration of the town. The project is aimed at making safe connections, to improve the appearance of the area, bringing green infrastructure into the centre of the town and drawing people to the seafront and historic core.
Leader of Angus Council, Cllr Beth Whiteside said, “Arbroath, A Place For Everyone” is exactly what we are aspiring to achieve through this project. We want the town to flourish and be a place where people want to live, work and visit.
“Improving accessibility to all areas of Arbroath, including our shopping areas, will give the local area a much-needed economic boost as well as providing attractive, inviting spaces for locals and visitors alike.
“While Council funds are extremely tight, we have to continue to be bold and ambitious and to invest in the future of Angus. We are leveraging a huge amount of funding for Arbroath which could be a catalyst for even more investment in the future.
"We have listened and acted on the views and aspirations of the people of Arbroath and have worked tirelessly so we can now bring to reality this genuinely transformational project."
If agreed, construction on the project is scheduled to start in January 2024 with an estimated completion date of July 2025.