Traders in Kinross whose business has been hit hard by road closures are planning a street party to celebrate the end of the work.
The town’s high street has been closed since the beginning of July and is not due to re-open until the end of this month while a £1.5 million improvement scheme is carried out.
The work involves creating a ‘town square’ style pedestrian area with the aim of making the town centre more attractive to visitors and residents.
Kerbs and bus stops are being removed; footpaths widened and roads resurfaced with natural stone.
The project proved controversial from the outset, with critics claiming that the removal of street furniture could prove dangerous for the visually impaired, older people and young children.
But despite a raft of objections and even a petition, the scheme was unanimously approved by Perth and Kinross councillors.
Once the work began, contractors were criticised for the length of time the work was taking and the local authority for erecting ‘confusing’ signage.
Local businesses have claimed that the work has decimated trade and in some cases takings are down by 50 per cent.
Coupled with the loss this year of the T in the Park festival, traders have suffered massive losses and some have even warned they could close altogether.
However, with the end of the project now in sight, they’ve joined forces with Kinross-shire Local Events Organisation - KLEO - to plan a big street party on October 3.
The event, which is being funded by the local authority, will be headlined by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. It will be opened by Kinross Pipe Band and there’ll be a continuous programme of street entertainment throughout the afternoon.
Also lined up to perform are the Kennedy Cupcakes and ‘The Singing Butcher’ Iain Hunter, whose business has been affected by the roadwork.
Said Bouwien Bennet of KLEO: “The purpose of this event is to promote the new-look High Street and the businesses on it and to address the negative sentiment which has arisen as a result of the disruption to traffic, and the loss of business experienced by the High Street traders.
“By holding this event we hope to attract large numbers of people to the High Street of Kinross again and show that shopping on the High Street is back on track.
“Shops and local businesses will be actively involved by taking part in the festivities. They will assist in organising various activities from their shops/businesses to encourage people to visit the shops and will have various special offers on for the event.”