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Knockback for Rogart Development Trust as Pittentrail Inn funding bid rejected, but mart project still on track

By Caroline McMorran

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Rogart Development Trust's plans for a community purchase of the Pittentrail Inn have received a knockback.

The group's application for phase 1 funding from the Scottish Land Fund has been rejected.

Going ahead: Work is set to start on the auction mart.
Going ahead: Work is set to start on the auction mart.

However, another of the Trust's project is still on track with a start set to be made on converting the community's historic auction mart into a multi-purpose venue.

It had been hoped that an award from the land fund would meet the costs of a development plan, community consultation and feasibility study into the purchase of the Pittentrail Inn, which has been closed for some time.

But the Trust announced on its Facebook Page that its bid has been unsuccessful and the project has now been put on hold pending the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

A spokesman said: "Rogart Development Trust has decided to reconsider options when community gatherings are allowed again."

The Trust was granted £131,000 from the Land Fund in 2018 towards the conversion of the auction mart. It was stated then that the new facility could be up and running as early as June 2019. However, the plan appears to have languished in the intervening years.

But the proposal for a multi-purpose space for outside and inside events such as theatre performances, markets and fairs, has now been given fresh impetus.

Rogart Auction Mart.
Rogart Auction Mart.

The spokesman said: "Work is planned to commence this spring. This is subject to planning amendments for site access and the installation of a Green Room which will incorporate toilets and a kitchen offering refreshments. The planned opening will be in the spring of 2022 when hopefully the pandemic will be fully under control."

The 1.25 hectare mart site lies in the centre of the village and runs east towards Pittentrail Hall car park. The mart loading bays are beside the car park for the village's only shop, PO Stores.The steel-framed mart building, which has brickwork half-way up, lies beyond the loading bays. Its roof contains asbestos and needs to be replaced.

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