Swinney secures Pitlochry extension
Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has secured the Scottish Government’s agreement to extend a key funding deadline for Pitlochry until March 2021.
Pitlochry, which secured £383,000 funding from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund, originally had until March 2020 to put forward a proposal. However, several constituents had contacted Mr Swinney to inform him that the local community had not been properly consulted and that there was no consensus over a final project.
Moreover, Mr Swinney was concerned by the likely re-allocation of the funding to another town within Perth and Kinross, should a project not be agreed by the March 2020 deadline.
Last month, Mr Swinney wrote to Perth and Kinross Council to emphasise the need to fully engage with local residents over the allocation of this funding. Additionally, Mr Swinney wrote to the Scottish Government to request an extension to the deadline, in order to allow Pitlochry additional time to select a project that the entire community could support.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“I am delighted that, following my intervention, the Scottish Government has agreed to extend Pitlochry’s application deadline by one year.
“In my correspondence, I emphasised to the Scottish Government that their funding allocation of £383,000 could have a transformative effect on Pitlochry. Accordingly, it would have been a great shame for this money to be squandered or lost completely.
“With the threat of an imminent deadline now removed, it is my expectation that this money should be spent locally, as was originally intended. Any attempt to re-allocate the funding elsewhere across Perth and Kinross would be a betrayal of Pitlochry.
“Rather, it is now vital that Perth and Kinross Council take advantage of this extension, and that they engage with locals to arrive at a final project that can enjoy wide support across the town.”
Councillor Mike Williamson added:
“This is great news for Pitlochry, and gives us vital breathing room to ensure we arrive at a final project that everyone can get behind.
“I have consistently argued for a more open consultation over how this funding is allocated, and I am hopeful that we can now bring the entire community on-board with this process.
“I thank John Swinney for his important work in securing an extension, and the Scottish Government for the flexibility they have shown to ensure that Pitlochry does not lose out.”
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