Sign up to back community buy-out of Lanark yard

Derelict...even before last year's fire at the old Ladyacre garage.
Derelict...even before last year's fire at the old Ladyacre garage.

LANARKIANS are being asked to sign up to show their support for a plan to buy over the former derelict Alston’s Yard for the community.

And over 800 of them will have to sign a petition to prove that at least 10 percent of Lanark’s official population of 8250 back it.

“A feasibility study should start any day now, to look at the whole Alston’s Yard site, and it will be consulting various people in the town about the possible usage of it,” said Sylvia Russell, who chairs Lanark Community Development Trust.

The Alston’s Garage site, on Ladyacre Road, has been lying empty for years, and growing increasingly derelict. In August last year one of the buildings was badly damaged by fire.

But for the last three years,Lanimer entrants have been allowed to use the large shed there to build the stunning lorries for the annual procession.

The site is owned by a farmer.

“He is now willing to negotiate with us, to sell it to the development trust,” said Sylvia.

“We are in partnership with the Lanimer Committee on this one.”

A Lottery grant should cover the feasibility study, and performance groups such as the Panto Club and Lanark Amateur Music Society will be among those who will be consulted.

“It is a great big shed,” said Sylvia. “It has great potential for community use.

”Performing arts groups can build their scenery there and store it there – it is a big space and it does not matter if you splash paint around!”

But a tenth of the population would have to back the project to let the group apply for money from the Scottish Land Fund to buy the site.

Copies of the petition are available in Lanark Library and in the Gazette’s Lanark Office.

For more details, pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette.