A vision for the future of the town

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AN ARBROATH business has drawn up plans they believe could put the beating heart back into the town.

The Voigt Partnership has set out their ‘Vision of Arbroath’, a set of proposals and ideas they think could form a 20 to 30-year plan to improve the town and encourage more investment and business.

And one of the main areas of focus of the new plans is the town centre, which they believe is key in pulling the whole area together.

One of the ideas is to create a town plaza in the area of Lidl and the Abbeygate, which would act as the heart of the community.

This would be a focal point for both residents and visitors which would then point people in the direction of attractions such as the Marina, the Harbour Visitors’ Centre, the shopping area and Arbroath Abbey.

Heinz Voigt, owner of the Voigt Partnership has lived and worked in Arbroath for 35 years, bringing up his four children here.

And he believes a vibrant centre point could really kick-start more businesses to committing themselves to Arbroath.

He said: “We need to attract more investment to the town and the one thing that it doesn’t have is a heart.

“There is no direct access to the centre of Arbroath and a town plaza with various points going to the High Street could act as an integration between these areas.

“A lot of European towns have this and they feed off to the areas providing the facilities.

“The town centre is key to pulling Arbroath together.”

However, the Voigt Partnership’s plans don’t just stop there.

It also incorporates the whole of Arbroath and they have earmarked 37 points around the town that they believe could really sell the area.

Among them they include Keptie Pond and the Water Tower, the Sports Centre, the seafront and the entrance to the town from Dundee.

And soon they intend to show their plans to the public from their new refurbished offices in the old Erskine Church on Commerce Street.

Mr Voigt added: “Enhancing the town and making it pretty for tourism is important as we want people to stop here.

“Landscaping the gateway would provide a good impression.

Then we have attractions such as the miniature railway which is fantastic so why couldn’t we extend that right up to the harbour?

“I know these won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but we are just putting these out there as ideas.”

On hand to view the Voigt Partnership’s plans on Tuesday was Councillor David Fairweather who says he backs the ideas 100 per cent.

He commented: “As a young lad at 16 years-old I worked in Burtons next to what was Woolworths at the time and Arbroath was probably the best burgh in Angus if not Tayside.

“Over the years I have watched that disappear but this vision for Arbroath is brilliant.

“It is something that we can work towards for the next 20 to 30 years as it won’t happen just in one year.

“People always say to me nothing happens in Arbroath and we want to change that.”

Twitter: @JenniferNewton1