New ‘Gateway to the Glens’ proposal by local architect

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A WESTMUIR-BASED architect has unveiled proposals to dramatically improve the roadside presence of Kirriemuir to travellers whizzing through the county on the A90 trunk-route.

Gary Sinclair, following discussions with a local businessman, has come up with the idea of piece of art with a Barrie theme situated close to the Kirriemuir junction in a bid to improve the presence of the “Gateway to the Glens”.

“The issue of attracting the passing traveller and the casual visitor from the A90 into towns such as Kirriemuir lies at the heart of retaining and developing local businesses and services, “ explains Gary.

“At the moment the presence of Kirriemuir at its shared junction with Forfar is limited to the standard brown ‘local services and main attractions’ signage.”

Gary goes on to explain that the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the birth of J. M. Barrie provided the trigger for his idea, which he is keen to develop.

He hopes that local businesses and residents of the Kirriemuir ‘Gateway to Glens’ community will recognise the possibilities for this intriguing project and lend their support to get the project off the ground.

The rocky outcrop on the central island of rainwater storage basin on the northwest side of the A90 junction, struck Gary as the perfect spot to provide the launching pad for Peter Pan to lead the Darling children on their first flight.

“Just imagine the sight of four figures zooming up from the waters edge into the night sky as they take their first jump on the wind’s back.”

The initial design envisages four slightly larger than life size sculptures of Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael and John, each located at the pinnacle of a swoosh emanating from the rocky outcrop in the centre of the rainwater basin. The swooshes would twist from the ground to a height of between ten and 15 metres to allow the sculpture to be seen from all approaches to the junction.

Selected lighting of the figures alone, would allow each character to appear to float in the night sky over the junction during the hours of darkness.

While the final form of the installation will be fully developed as the project evolves, Gary hopes the initial idea may be a catalyst that will result in the design and installation of a roadside sculpture capturing the “second to the right, and straight on till morning,” moment of the first flight, as well as providing a suitably spectacular highlight to the “Gateway to the glens” from the A90.

Gary’s work as an architect with his Westmuir-based practice, just outside Kirriemuir, involves him in a range of both commercial and residential work with local individuals and businesses who he believes would welcome this kind of profile-raising feature to make passing travellers and tourists consider leaving the main road at the junction to experience the rich array of attractions which lie to the north west of the main road.

Following his involvement in other community based projects, including assisting in the inception and procurement of woodland and all-weather sports pitch schemes for the Westmuir Community Development Trust and Kirriemuir Community Sports Trust respectively, Gary appreciates that the project will require significant commitment over a period of time, from a range of private individual businesses, community groups and local government agencies, to drive the project forward and secure funding for the scheme.

“Both the woodland and the all-weather pitch projects suffered initially from the ‘yeh!, but it will never actually happen’ syndrome, which through the drive and enthusiasm of all those involved in the project was ultimately overcome to allow both the pitch and woodland to come to fruition and provide significant benefits for their local communities,” he explains.

“This proposal has started like the others with a single spark of an idea. Let’s get the drive and enthusiasm working again to deliver another spirit raising project in these times of financial doom and gloom.”

Gary hopes to enlist the early assistance of interested parties from both the local business, arts community and local government to help develop the idea into a scheme that can gain initial development funding to bring on board a suitably experienced artist and other professionals to move the project forward.

Interested parties who would like to become involved can contact Gary via his website - www.garysinclairarchitecture.com