Plans to transform the heart of a Moray town centre will go on public display for the first time next month.
The Elgin masterplan includes a total revamp of Cooper Park, connecting it to the High Street, bringing old buildings such as the former Junners toy shop back to life and getting the town’s older lanes and roads back into use.
A consultation on the ambitious project has been running, but now the local authority has decided to extend it – and host an outdoor drop-in session.
Members of the public now have until July 30 to share their thoughts on the scheme.
‘Fantastic’ response so far
The masterplan is designed to transform the town centre to support local businesses, attract investment and regenerate vacant and derelict buildings.
Steps will be implemented to “encourage more people to live and work” in the town and Elgin’s history will be more of a feature, while its walking and cycling connections will be massively improved.
And, as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, Moray Council has decided to hold an outdoor drop-in consultation in Cooper Park on July 24. Further details will be announced in due course.
Council leader Graham Leadbitter said feedback had been “fantastic” so far.
He added: “We wanted to give a bit more time for people to consider their vision for the centre of Elgin, especially now we’re able to plan some in-person consultation events.”
Breathing life back into the town centre
As part of the masterplan, Elgin Town Hall would become a “cultural and creative learning and entertainment centre”.
It would house a restaurant and cinema, plus learning area for creative industries and related courses with music and media studios.
Cooper Park could be connected to the High Street via active travel corridors, offering a safe space for cyclists and walkers.
The existing play park and mound would be upgraded and become more open and inclusive, with the public toilets relocated there and the skatepark expanded.
And a sports hub will replace the existing sports pavilion and will include changing rooms, showers, storage, bike parking and hire, and flexible space.
Also under the blueprint, the pond will be transformed with a water fountain in the form of an angel and watersports will be given the green light with equipment hired from the sports hub.
A 100-seat outdoor performance area is also planned.
Eyesore buildings around the town could also be brought back to life.
The scheme also aims to breathe life back in to Elgin’s once bustling closes, wynds, lanes and alleyways by using them as more direct routes into the town centre.
Harrow Inn Close, City Arms Close, Fife Arms Close, Hays Close, Red Lion Close, Shepherd’s Close and Branders Close will be prioritised.