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Banff street set to close for months

By Kyle Ritchie

Bridge Street, Banff Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, North East Scotland Preservation Trust, NESPT
Bridge Street, Banff Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, North East Scotland Preservation Trust, NESPT

HIGHLY anticipated works are expected to start on 49 to 53 Bridge Street as part of the Banff Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (Cars).

It is estimated that Bridge Street will be closed to traffic for three months, from Wednesday, February 20, while the building works take place.

Work to convert the derelict building into three town-houses is being carried out by the North East Scotland Preservation Trust (NESPT) and will provide accommodation for visiting silversmiths at The Smiddy.

Once complete, the works will considerably improve the visual appearance of the street, which will go hand in hand with the works the Cars Project has already carried out in the area.

Banff and Buchan area committee chairman councillor Andy Kille said: "This is fantastic news for the area. The investment will positively affect the local perception of the town as well as attracting visitors and businesses from further afield.

"It is encouraging to see the council and the community working together to continue to improve Banff."

Banff CARS has so far seen a handful of buildings in Bridge Street and Low Street benefit from grants to improve their appearance, with further properties identified.

Notably, The Smiddy and the former Tollbooth hotel are two buildings which have received grants through the scheme.

The closure will involve the section between Low Street and Reid Street, with access from Reid Street remaining available. Pedestrian access will be maintained.

Businesses on Bridge Street will remain open throughout the works and customers are being encouraged to continue to visit local organisations throughout.

Letters are to be sent to residents and businesses on Bridge Street advising them of further details and timescales.

It is hoped temporary vehicular access to the street may be given for short periods of time once it is safe to do so and works allow. Parking restrictions will still be in place, however.

Vice-chairman of the Banff and Buchan area committee, councillor Mike Roy, said: "The building has been derelict for a number of years and is in a poor state of repair and restoring it will complement the regeneration works taking place in the area.

"It is understandable that these works will cause some disruption, but we ask that residents are patient while the work is under way."

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