Two hundred people attended a packed meeting to see the progress of proposals for the site of the former Hill Primary School building in Blairgowrie this week.
Local councillors, business people and East Perthshire residents of all ages gathered at the Angus Hotel on Monday to comment on the results of a public consultation designed to eventually turn the site into a viable community asset, presented by members of the Ericht Trust.
Trust chairman Ian Gordon said feedback from locals would be included in a business plan to be presented shortly to Perth and Kinross Council.
Speaking on Monday evening, Mr Gordon said: “The purpose tonight was to let the community see the proposals that have come out of lots of consultation and talking to people in and around Blairgowrie.
“The trustees have been stunned by the number of people who have come here tonight, looked carefully at those proposals, closely questioned the trustees and left valuable feedback – it certainly looks as though this project is something that people want in Blairgowrie and we are in little doubt that the proposals here would fit the site.
“The feedback from tonight will form the final part of the business plan for the project, which we will now take to Perth and Kinross Council and discuss it further with them.
“The huge amount of work that the trustees have put into this project so far was clearly reflected in the professionalism of the event tonight and the fantastic feedback we have received has certainly boosted our confidence that we are going in the right direction.”
More that 350 people responded to an Ericht Trust survey which asked respondents to rate a number of potential future uses for the mothballed school. When the results were collated, 75 per cent stated that the area would benefit from a small cinema, while 65 per cent believed an indoor soft play area was required.
Councillor Bob Ellis was there on the night and explained: “This is an excellent project. Blairgowrie needs an indoor attraction of some kind to bring more people into the town centre and the proposals for this site as we have seen tonight fit very well with that.
“Local history enthusiast Hamilton Scott has always wanted to show off the print machinery and these proposals would provide a great opportunity to do this.
“There is also a need for budget accommodation in the town to suit young people and families and the outdoor enthusiasts who come to the area in their thousands, and I am very glad to see that this is also one of the proposals up for consideration.
“I am very happy to support this project and wish the Ericht Trust every success.”