Community Trust celebrate ‘first step’ in saving landmark bridge

Mike Mulholland and Stuart Crowther argued the case for the Seatown Bridge.
Mike Mulholland and Stuart Crowther argued the case for the Seatown Bridge (Pic: Mark Mair, Morayvia)

PEOPLE IN LOSSIEMOUTH are being urged to get behind the local group who are striving to protect local landmarks and facilities.

The call came as the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust (LCDT) successfully applied for funding that they believe will lead to ending fears over the future of the landmark Seatown Bridge.

Members of the Trust appealed for help at the first ‘Money for Moray’ event on Saturday, where dozens of local groups gave two-minute ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentations in the hope of netting a share of £60,000 in grant funding from Moray Council and the Scottish Government.  They pointed to the poor condition of the link to the town’s East Beach – and the major stumbling block in their community being able to do anything about it, the fact that Moray Council have steadfastly refused to accept they are the owners of the bridge.

Chair of the LCDT, Donna Milne, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to have secured the £3,800 we asked for to cover the cost of obtaining a firm legal opinion on the ownership of the bridge and to undertake a structural report on its current condition.

“The condition of the bridge is of major concern to people in Lossiemouth and throughout Moray. When the LCDT was formed it was at the very top of the list of issues local people indicated to us should be a top priority, so we are pleased that at last progress is being made.”

The issue of ownership has occupied the minds of the Lossiemouth Community Council for around eight years.  However, even when evidence was discovered that demonstrated the bridge had been under the control of the old Lossiemouth Town Council, which eventually came under the umbrella of the Moray Council, paperwork appears to have been lost and, there being no legal documentation found, transfer of ownership of the bridge has been impossible.

Last night local councillor John Cowe welcomed the efforts of the community: “It has been a very good week for Lossiemouth, with the decision that the new High School will be built with a community swimming pool and now the efforts of the LCDT are making excellent progress.”

This evening the LCDT will be holding their first Annual General Meeting at the Lossiemouth FC Social Club in the town (7pm). Mrs Milne said: “The granting of funding from Money for Moray has arrived at the perfect time for our AGM, to which all members are invited.

“We would also urge members of the public in Lossiemouth to come along to the AGM – while they cannot vote, they will be able to join us and help in our efforts to take control of the Bridge and learn of our other plans for the town, which include an ongoing Asset Transfer for parts of Station Park from the Moray Council.”

Money for Moray

Moravia team present their case for funding
Moravia team present their case for funding

The following groups were also successful in securing funding from Money for Moray on Saturday – a second event will be held in July with another £60,000 up for grabs.

Burghead Headland Trust£5000 to provide parking for ‘less abled’ visitors
Milnes Area Forum£5000 to provide a weekend bus service between Kingston and Elgin
Speyside Dirt Track£2300 for a BMX/MTB track in Aberlour
Moray Beekeepers Association£4633 for specialist honey producing equipment
Lampie Hoose£1655 to establish a Christmas Market and decorations in Portgordon
Burghead Food Growing Club£1500 to establish 30 vegetable growing plots
Findochty Community Council£5000 to decorate community in their 300th Year celebrations
Milnes Youth Groups£5000 for a new ‘Young Persons Knockout’ event in Lhanbryde
Hopeman Memorial Hall£5000 to assist in kitchen refurbishment
Grant Hall Rothes£5000 to update hall facilities
Dyke and District Hall£2800 to update hall facilities
Buckie Area Forum£300 for feasibility study into ‘Hielan Line Walk’
Keith and Dufftown District Railway £5000 for station upgrade work
Aberlour Baby & Toddler Group£300 to provide baby changing facilities
Morayvia£5000 to provide a video theatre at their Kinloss centre
James A Mackie Trust£3000 to finance research of coastal waters