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December 14, 2011

Callander pulls them in

How to get more people involved in the life of your community?  This question must have been asked a thousand times and of course there’s no easy answer.  Undoubtedly there’s more pressure on everyone’s time but the fact is some approaches seem to work better than others and Callander Community Development Trust might just be onto something.  Over 900 people became involved in a series of workshops run by the Trust to rethink the local master plan.


Donald Morton, Stirling Observer 2/12/11

THE special series of meetings, workshops and demonstrations known as the Callander Charrette has been voted a success.

The charrette – defined as “an intense period of design activity” – was held over four days to let local residents, agencies, landowners, design professionals and project consultants work together to develop a masterplan for the town.

That will feed into the development of the new community action plan being led by Callander Community Development Trust.

More than 900 people attended and with the aid of around 6000 Post-It notes, 350 cups of tea and 103 hours of enthusiasm, worked hard through discussion, review and workshops to help in the construction of these plans.

The Callander community was supported by a number of partners including the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority and Stirling Council, to consider Callander as a place to live and visit, and share thoughts and ideas that could further the living experiences of current residents, future residents and visitors.

Community leaders and senior members of the park and council were thrilled by the enthusiasm and energy which the community embraced the event.

Now the hard work will begin through delivering the agreed priorities. It was proposed that the immediate priorities to be explored are:

A new river crossing at the east side of Callander;

Improvements to the look and infrastructure of the Main Street;

Improved connections and development of local foot and cycle paths;

Agreeing how to bring the former St Kessog’s Church building back into full use as a major attraction in the heart of the town.

The next stage of the process will include taking ideas and proposals identified and producing a draft report, which will be available in December for review by the Callander community.

The community development trust will also be using the information gathered in developing the next Callander Community Action Plan, setting out the projects the community wish to take forward.

The public can still view the exhibition from the design team’s recommendations in the Callander Youth Project in Bridgend. A section of the exhibition will then be moved to the National Park Office in Callander.

Stirling MP Bruce Crawford said: “I was very impressed by the commitment of the community in Callander to the charrette project which was demonstrated to me by the excellent level of attendance at the closing event.

“I was particularly pleased by the important contributions to the project made by the town’s younger people clearly evident that evening.

“I look forward to seeing the community, Stirling Council and the National Park Authority working together to explore how they can take forward the recommendations.”