£1 million grant for derelict Lanark yard

Alston's garage building and yard with fire damage in 2013 and lying derelict now.
Alston's garage building and yard with fire damage in 2013 and lying derelict now.

PLANS to turn the derelict Alston’s yard on one of Lanark’s main streets into a huge shed for use by local groups took a giant step closer this week when the Scottish Government awarded the project £1 million.

The grant, which is subject to technical scrutiny, was made to Lanark Community Development Trust from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

“This will allow the project to move forward,” said Development Trust chairman Sylvia Russell.

“Other funding is still required before we can implement he project but Lanark Community Development Trust, working in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council, the Lanimer Committee and Healthy Valleys, is confident that we are now well on our way to transforming an ugly derelict site.

“The plan is to restore the ‘Big Shed’ which will be used as a community resource to build Lanimer Lorries and stage scenery for the various performing arts groups in town.”

Lanimer entrants for years have been desperate for space in which they can build the spectacular creations for the June procession, and some are currently using the Alston’s shed in its present state.

The Ladyacre Road building was badly damaged by fire.

The plans will also see a new building erected as a base for the activities of Healthy Valleys, which runs projects on topics such as healthy eating and to support those who are isolated in Lanark and throughout Clydesdale.

And there will be additional dedicated Park and Ride facilities for those using Lanark railway station.

Sylvia wanted to thank all the members of the public who took the trouble to sign a petition launched by the Development Trust last year to support the regeneration of Alston’s Yard; it had to collect over 800 signatures to show the project had backing, and that backing has helped the Trust get the funding.

The fundraising has still a long way to go - the Trust needs to raise possibly the same amount again – and no timescale has been set for the project. But other grants may be available.