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September 10, 2008

Ambitious plans for High Street gap site

Dunblane Development Trust has its sights set on acquiring and developing a vacant site in the heart of the town’s High Street. The plans include a mix of retail, office space, restaurant and café with some affordable housing. The project will cost around £1.3 million and would be funded by a mix of public and private finance


Proposals for a £1.3m development in the heart of Dunblane have been thrown into the public arena.

Dunblane Development Trust is keen to acquire a gap site in the High Street in which a building, designed to make a positive impact on local economy, could be created.

And local residents are now invited to share their views on the best way forward.

Project director David Gill said the whole project, if given the go-ahead, will cost an estimated £1.3m.

Most of the cash for the ambitious project would be supported by grant funding and public contribution.

It would rise three and a half storeys from the High Street and, as it dropped down at the back, rise five and a half storeys behind.

David told the Allanwater News: “We would like to see a mix of restaurants, office space, retail, affordable housing and lease storage space on site.

“As the building directly opposite is set back from the road, we would also set the new building back and, effectively, create a mini urban square.”

He explained that, should it be both with the new building and neighbouring businesses, the Trust would aim to lay out tables and chairs to compliment the bistro/restaurant facilities.

This would bring a touch of the continent, and cafe culture, right into the centre of Dunblane.

This popular style of ‘cafe culture’ is already highly popular in communities throughout Scotland, including major cities and neighbouring Bridge of Allan.

David assured residents, however, that the community would be fully consulted on the basis of the Trust acquiring the gap site.

The Trust has also earmarked funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Growing Community Assets scheme, which is there to help local communities become stronger and more sustainable by obtaining or developing assets, in both urban and rural communities.

The Fund actively supports community-led regeneration, providing quality services and amenities that reflect the needs of the community.

It is hoped this support will mean more people will use and enjoy those assets.

There is also the thinking that exciting new projects like this will help create more community income and substantially boost local employment prospects.

The plans also marry with the current government drive to encourage communities to take responsibility for their own prosperity.

David went on:“The idea behind the Big Lottery funding is to encourage communities to buy buildings and areas that they can use to generate revenue that can then be ploughed back into the community.

“It is basically the first step to get the snowball rolling. If a community has a tangible asset, such as this new proposed building, then it can also then borrow against it to invest in other projects.”

Information boards will be erected at the High Street gap site tomorrow (Friday), where information on the proposals and full contact details for the Trust will be on view.

Meantime, anyone who would like to comment on the proposals is invited to do so in writing by contacting David at Dunblane Development Trust, Project Director, Braeport Centre, Braeport, Dunblane, FK15 0AT or by emailing