AN EVOCATIVE IMAGE of the River Lossie without the iconic Seatown Bridge in place will be used to demonstrate to local communities what could be a reality in the near future.
This weekend the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust (LCDT) are to join several local community groups in bidding for a share of £60,000 under a new joint Scottish Government/Moray Council scheme.
‘Money for Moray’ is a pilot participatory funding scheme, in which local groups representing rural communities will bid for funding in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style format. The first of two such events is taking place in Rothes on Saturday, at which the groups and members of the public will decide where the funding should go.
A spokesman for the LCDT said: “From the moment the Trust was told about the new funding scheme, we recognised it as a way of demonstrating to other groups and the Moray public the very real plight faced by one of Moray’s most iconic structures.
“We checked the eligibility of the bridge, and were delighted to learn that as it was actually just outside the Lossiemouth town boundary, we could apply.
“Our bridge faces a unique difficulty – nobody will admit to ownership and, crucially, there has never been a definitive legal position on the bridge. So to take control of the situation in what are very difficult times, we are seeking to raise funding from Money for Moray to pay for a legal ruling to take place.”
The legal ruling would allow the Trust to then apply for a Community Asset Transfer, have structural surveys done on the bridge and attempt to raise funding to bring it up to standard.
The spokesman said: “The image of the Lossie without that bridge is very evocative, perhaps even controversial – but everyone must understand that the ironwork on the bridge in particular is not in a good condition and there is a very real possibility that we could lose it – and with that our access to the East Beach.”
Meanwhile the LCDT have announced they will be holding their first Annual General Meeting in the Lossiemouth FC Social Club at 7pm on Monday (May 30).
All members of the Trust are invited to attend and will be able to vote on key decisions. Members of the public are welcome to attend and learn more about the work of the Trust, but will not be able to participate in voting.
Find out more about the Lossiemouth Community Development Trust online.