Town Appearance, Environment and Heritage
Many respondents thought the town centre could be made more attractive – through the community projects to bring back life to the derelict buildings, by supporting the development of attractive shop fronts, and more planting of flowers and trees. Suggestions were also made to link up and develop attractive green spaces and create green ‘corridors’ through the town and out into the countryside. MacRosty Park was viewed as a valuable asset in the town but other parks were also identified as needing upgraded or for additional, smaller parks to be created. The current network of scenic paths was noted as being appreciated locally but people would like them further developed and promoted. Plans to upgrade the Core Path between Crieff and Comrie are expected to advance soon. Accessibility across path networks was remarked upon regularly to support use by all members of the community. In general there was seen to be a need and opportunity to develop Crieff as a ‘Sustainable Town’ looking at all aspects of the place and how it could be more ‘eco-friendly’. Residents often spoke warmly about the history and heritage of Crieff and were ambitious in ideas for more to be made of this – with plans for a Heritage Museum and Heritage Trail in the offing as well as a need for more heritage signage and information.
Priorities & Actions
Short updates will appear as text under each progress tracker when available
1. Town enhancement – continue to improve the appearance of the town
Continue to develop projects for empty buildings
DARL (Drummond Arms Regeneration Ltd) has now acquired the former Royal Bank building, so the entirety of the old Drummond Arms building is now under one owner.
Additional funding has been received which will enable DARL to continue to fund a project manager. An extra £340,000 grant has also been received which has allowed work to continue on the strip out of asbestos and rubble.
DARL plans for 2022/23 include further asbestos removal and the installation of temporary bracing, as well as internal scaffolding to roof level, which will allow further asbestos removal and a first examination of the condition of the roof. The plan is to progress the building to a neutral cost state – removing the negative building equity, so that partners may be approached.
Design solutions to improve shop fronts
Improvement and development of attractive green/open spaces, as well as ‘more flowers and trees’
Crieff Community gardeners are litter pick hosts who host monthly litter picks to ‘keep Crieff beautiful’. They have been joined on litter picks by Crieff Primary School P7’s, Parents in Partnership and Crieff Round Table and have litter picking equipment available for anyone to borrow to conduct their own litter pick.
The aim is to improve Crieff Community Garden by erecting a wooden shelter with a living green roof to attract bees and butterflies. One thing the community garden lacks is cover from the weather. Crieff Community gardeners want the shelter to be a hub for parents to congregate before and after school, a meeting place, an outdoor classroom and simply respite for their volunteers and garden users. It will allow the garden to be accessible 365 days a year, bringing the outside in.
In Summer 2021, Crieff Community Garden rehomed lots of plants from Abbeyfield retirement home which has now been demolished. The garden was loved by the residents and a remembrance garden within Crieff Community garden was created so that the residents and their families can visit and find comfort from it. A similar initiative was undertaken for Ancaster House.
In 2021, Crieff Community Garden featured in 6 episodes of BBC’s Beechgrove Gardens as ‘Beechgrowers’ showcasing the hard work of Crieff volunteers to the UK population.
Involve young people/school in this design and improvement work
Crieff Primary School pupils assisted Crieff Community Garden volunteers in January 2022 to install a wild habitat area in Crieff Community Garden. The pupils made bug hotels, designed bird houses, installed a frog bog, a hedgehog house and lots of bird feeders.
Include access for all and ‘dementia friendly’ considerations in improvements
Arnold Clark donated £1000 to commence building a sensory garden within Crieff Community Garden to make gardening accessible to everyone. Crieff Community gardeners aim to create a secluded fenced-in area to ensure users feel safe and have been liaising with mental health groups to encourage their use of the garden once it is complete. Wheelchair accessible raised beds will be built to encourage those with additional support needs and care homes to get actively involved in gardening. A sensory experience with lots of sensory plants is beneficial for everyone but is known to ignite memories in those with dementia and helps to regulate emotions for those with ADHD and similar conditions.
Provide update information on progress to the wider community
2. Development of a green network
Ongoing improvement and development of core paths network and parks
Crieff Garage donated 20 tonnes of grit to re-lay the Crieff Community Garden path to ensure it is accessible to all – including prams, bicycles and wheelchair users.
Friends of MacRosty Park are to meet with the new Greenspace Ranger in September 2022 to discuss all aspects of the park.
Explore potential locations for new parks in smaller communities and also close to the new primary school
Develop and promote a joined up green network – linking paths, parks and open spaces from the Town Centre around town and out into the countryside
Improved signage and installation boards
Path accessibility for as many user groups as possible
Identify upgrades required for existing parks
3. Develop Crieff as a sustainable town
Establish a working group to agree Eco-Principles
Involve young people in this group
Create a cleaner, biodiverse and greener Crieff town centre
Active Travel Plan for Crieff
Campaign for safe cycle to school routes and develop a comprehensive cycling infrastructure
Organise a network of electric car charging points
4. Support initiatives to make more of Crieff’s heritage
Collate, assemble and market Crieff’s history and heritage
Practical and funding support for Crieff & Strathearn Museum to establish itself as a physical structure
Promote the museum as a key visitor attraction
Contribute to the development of an attractive, educational and sustainable Heritage Trail
Improved signage and installation boards
Crieff Community Council and local Councillors facilitated the installation of new signage for Old St Michael’s Hall and Grounds, and for Crieff Community Garden.
Strathearn & Strathallan Local Action Partnership awarded £200 to Old St Michael’s Hall and Grounds for a new interpretation panel installation in August 2022.