Yesterday we received the fantastic news from Richard Lochhead that the Scottish Government is committed to funding the repair or replacement of the footbridge to reinstate safe access to the East Beach!
We are thoroughly delighted with this outcome! We’d like to thank Richard for his intervention and to thank everyone throughout the community and beyond for their support!
Since the Trust was formed five years ago, we’ve been working on a number of local projects, including the regeneration of Station Park and a cycle path to Hopeman, but the Bridge, specifically maintaining safe access to the East Beach, has always been our number one priority.
We never thought we’d find ourselves in this position, with the bridge condemned and forced to close, but thanks to the hard work of our Committee, particularly Rab Forbes, and Development Trust Officer, Huw Williams, we’re in a great position to move ahead as quickly as possible now that funding has been secured.
Last night, the LCDT hosted a meeting with representatives of the Lossiemouth Community Council, the Lossiemouth Business Association and Moray Council at which everyone expressed their relief and delight that a funding solution has been found and their continued commitment to work together.
Right now, much is still unknown. As we learn more, we’ll keep you informed through our Facebook page & the website – and via the media.
Here are some you may have at the moment –
How soon will we be able to access the beach safely?
It’s too early to say. However, to set the right expectations, even with the funding secured, it’s going to take some time to reinstate access.
From recent discussions with Moray Council engineers, we believe that it could be at least a year, hopefully less, but also possibly more, until access to the East Beach is reinstated.
What will happen to the money already raised?
At present, the Bridge fund contains around £80,000, raised through community fundraising, donations and grants. Many, many thanks to everyone that has contributed to the fund!
All money which has been raised specifically for the bridge will be ringfenced until we have a clearer idea what the government funding will cover. If we later find out that it’s not needed, then the committee will take advice on the best way to reallocate it. As a charitable trust, our accounts are audited and submitted to the Scottish Charity Regulator, the money is secure.
What happens next?
The Trust originally set out to find out who owned the bridge, understand the options and raise awareness among the community, which we have done.
With the intervention of the Scottish Government, we hope Moray Council will now take the lead on the project and we will continue to work closely with them, representing the interests of the town.
The next step will be to meet with Richard Lochhead and members of the Moray Council to agree a plan of action.
Once again, we’d like to express our sincere thanks to the people of Lossiemouth and beyond who supported the campaign to reinstate access to the East Beach. We look forward to once again safely sharing our beautiful beach with you all!