Almond and Earn contains a number of small communities which follow the course of the River Almond and the lower course of the River Earn. The main settlements are close to Perth City. The area is mostly rural, containing many farms and hamlets. The various settlements tend to look to Perth for services rather than links between each other or Kinross. There are three Community Councils in Almond & Earn Ward.
Bridge of Earn (population 2,709), known locally as ‘Brig,’ lies where the River Earn joins the Tay Estuary. There has been a bridge in the town crossing the Earn for 700 years. In recent years, the town has seen extensive new housing developments. Many of the people living in Bridge of Earn commute to Perth, Dundee or Edinburgh for employment.
Forgandenny (population 627) sits 20 minutes by bus to the South of Perth. The village is home to Strathallan School as well as its own village primary.
Almondbank (population 1,094) is a village on the western edge of Perth City. The expansion of Perth has meant that Almondbank now sits very close to the edge of the city. The village still retains its own identity due to a strong community desire to do so.
Methven is village of 1,094 people with a strong sense of community spirit. The residents have made a difference to their local area by securing funding to improve the community centre and local park. Friends of Methven Park are active in enhancing the local environment.
Abernethy (population 1,429) is a small village downstream from Bridge of Earn and eight miles South-East of Perth. The village is visited by a mobile library, bank and post office. Village Crier’ is the local newsletter published on a quarterly basis.
Oudenarde is a new settlement, which is 1 mile from Bridge of Earn. It was planned to have around 1,200 new homes but only 124 were built and there are no immediate plans for further development. Oudenarde does not have a school or shops or even bus stops leaving a small community of residents with no community facilities and amenities. There is a constituted Community Group who aim to establish the development of a community hub for the families in Oudenarde, part funding has been raised to achieve this.
Each locality has a Local Action Partnership, which is a group of local community members, Perth and Kinross Councillors and representatives of key public and voluntary sector services. Each Local Action Partnership has an Action Plan, highlighting what it would like to achieve in order to tackle inequality and improve the quality of lives of local residents. More information on Local Action Partnerships, including how to get involved is available here.
There are three Community Councils in Almond & Earn Ward: Methven, Abernethy and Earn.
The Bridge of Earn Institute is a community ran hall which host community groups.
During the late 1990’s the master plan to create a new village on a brown-field site that was formally a WWII military hospital to the east of Bridge of Earn was unveiled to provide between 1200 to 1600 houses, provision of a new primary school, open space and a village centre. A multi-stakeholder partnership consisting of Perth and Kinross Council, a local developer, environmental consultant and a housing Association committed to providing a range of housing that contribute to improving quality of life and promoting community well-being.
By 2008 Hillcrest Housing Association had a handover of 75 new homes for rent and shared ownership; this was followed by further phased handovers of rented, shared ownership and shared Equity properties totalling 124 new homes by 2011. Due to the economic crisis there have been no new developments since.