An ambitious project to link Ellon’s town centre with the wider north-east will seek a major funding boost tomorrow.
Formartine councillors are being asked to approve budget of over £280,000 to create a fully-lit pathway to improve access for walkers and cyclists to new community facilities and a school to the south of the town.
The route will lead to the £36million replacement for Ellon’s secondary school, which includes a five-lane swimming pool that will be open to the public.
The 12,000 capacity school at Cromleybank is due to be open by August.
Access to the site was first improved in December with the construction of Boatie Tam’s Brig, a footbridge over the River Ythan, to provide a safe crossing point for townspeople.
Now, infrastructure bosses want to upgrade and light a route from the bridge to the school.
The exact route of the new path, however, is still to be decided but will link in with the town’s existing cycle path which circles the south of Ellon.
In a report that will go before area committee councillors tomorrow, Stephen Archer, the council’s director of infrastructure, said: “The proposal would be to formalise one of these paths to create a lit, shared-use path linking the town with the bridge within the riverside environs.
“It is envisaged that the path will be constructed and ready for pupils returning to school following the summer holidays,” he added.
Andrew Plews, secretary of the town’s community council, said there were concerns from locals that the path will be at the mercy of flooding.
He said: “We’ve talked about it with the point of view of the drainage – there was some public concern. The path is going to be built in a flood plain, so it’s only going to be usable at certain times of the year.”
If approved, money for the project will be funnelled from a community links grant of £125,000 – provided by the transport charity Susrans – and from the transport partnership Nestrans.