Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

March 3, 2010

Life beyond market failure

The demise of Scotland’s small towns was highlighted in the last edition of the Briefing.  The appearance of charity shops and gap sites on the high street are not only a symptom of this malaise but often the cause of further decline.  But market failure doesn’t need to be accepted as the end game – Dunblane Development Trust are about to show why

Iain Howie, Stirling Observer Wednesday

WORK on a retail development aimed at benefiting the centre of Dunblane is to start in the Spring.

And work on the gap site on the High Street should be completed after a year.

Dunblane Development Trust (DDT) is carrying out the project in line with the Dunblane Community Plan.

Dunblane Development Trust projects director, Malcolm Dougall, said: “It would be great to have a local business expanding into the centre of Dunblane, which is crying out for a wider range of places to eat.

“However business discussions are just beginning and we are happy to hear from individuals or organisations who feel they can offer a particular dining experience to people in the Dunblane community and surrounding areas.”

DDT was initially assisted by local landowners Kippendavie Group Trust (KGT), which bought the site on its behalf last year and is now in the process of selling it on to the trust.

KGT also eased the trust’s cash flow by providing some loan funding.

Now the main source of finance for the project is the Town Centre Regeneration Fund – a Scottish Government initiative aimed at boosting the construction industry, maintaining and creating employment, and helping to regenerate the High Streets of many Scottish towns.

The Regeneration Fund will provide £1.2million for the project.

Other funding which helped establish the project has been made available by Forth Valley and Lomond Leader Fund, the Big Lottery Fund and Scottish Community Foundation.

The DDT will own the building outright and anticipates that income from the various rentals will fund many of The trust’s activities, including the valuable work of the Dunblane In Bloom Group.

The trust has the option to sell the property after six years and invest the funds in new community ventures.

The mixed-use building is designed to house a restaurant on the ground and lower ground floors with residential accommodation consisting of five one and two-bedroom flats available to rent on the floors above.

A spokesperson said: “The restaurant site offers a tremendous business opportunity, in a prime location with huge potential.”

It will have space for approximately 60 diners, a function room which can be booked for special occasions, picture windows looking over to the river, a lift connecting all floors and will be ready for fitting out by the leaseholder.