A pleasant surprise dropped through the letter boxes of homes in Guardbridge last week – a £10 voucher.
And local businesses were also heartened by the development, as the vouchers can only be spent in the village.
The vouchers, which were hand delivered to the 380 homes in the village last week, are a thank-you gesture by the University of St Andrews in recognition of the disruption caused when the main road through Guardbridge was closed for six weeks as part of the development of the old paper mill site.
The closure in February and March was needed for pipe-laying work for the £25 million Green Energy Centre being built by the university at the former mill.
As well as major upheaval and road diversions, local businesses had also complained about suffering a loss of trade during the period.
Geoff Morris, the university’s head of public engagement, said the voucher was a way of acknowledging the impact of the works carried out, which were completed two weeks ahead of schedule, and was a modest thank-you to local residents for their patience.
“You have all been in the thick of the action and once again our sincere apologies for the disruption we have caused,” said vice-principal Verity Brown in the note that accompanied the voucher.
“In the months and years ahead, we hope the positive benefits for Guardbridge will far outweigh the recent road closure.”
Jodi Hain, owner of the Something Different hair and beauty salon on Main Street, said that while it did not compensate for the business lost during the closure, the voucher idea was a bonus for local people.
“It is good that it is to be spent in the village but we are still out of pocket,” Jodi said. “If we were to achieve new clients out of it that would be good for us.”