CRIEFF drivers will now receive a warm welcome as they enter the town as brand new road signs are going up on roads into the Strathearn capital.

The new signs, designed by a local school pupil, will greet residents as they return home as well as welcoming visitors to the town and surrounding area.

The Crieff and Upper Strathearn Partnership (CUSP) and Crieff Residents' Association has spearheaded the removal and replacement of the old 'Welcome to Crieff' signs, working with Perth and Kinross Council, as part of regeneration work around the town.

Crieff Residents' Association took proposals to CUSP four years ago to remove the three existing signs and replace them with six new ones.

That proposal, and one to smarten up the town centre by re-painting ironwork, street lighting columns, street furniture and sign posts were supported by all of the Partnership members, as well as local councillors and Perth and Kinross Council officials.

A variety of images and wording for the proposed signs was put to residents in the Crieff Community Survey, conducted in summer and autumn last year.

The Residents Association also sponsored a competition with students at Crieff High School to design the new road signs using the agreed components.

A judging committee made up of local artists and business people selected the winning entry, which was submitted by 5th year student Ewen Stewart. His design featured the wording 'Heart of Strathearn', which has been adopted for the new signs.

Ewan said: "I am delighted that the signs will be seen by thousands of residents and visitors to the town every year. They look great and everyone in Crieff seems very happy with them. It's amazing to see the signs actually going up." CUSP Secretary John Champion said: "The Partnership is grateful for the council's support in both practical and financial matters in respect of the signage project.

"We are proud of our town, and of Strathearn, and we hope the new signs convey this to others."