August 26, 2015
Communities to lead town centre regeneration
For years national economic strategies seemed to focus exclusively on cities. The urban areas were deemed the ‘power house’ of the nation and as a result they got all the attention and most of the resources. The plight of our small towns and in particular town centres, which have been in steady decline for years, was consistently ignored. But no more. Towns and town centre regeneration is under the spotlight and local people are being asked to play their part. A new £1.7m Fund has been launched. Community groups are invited to apply.
Alex Neil announces fund to help communities regenerate town centres across Scotland.
Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced £1.7 million of funding to help revitalise and regenerate town centres across Scotland.
The Town Centre Communities Capital Fund is open to community organisations to support capital projects which will make real and lasting improvements to town centres.
Mr Neil made the funding announcement while on a visit to the Beith Development Trust in North Ayrshire, he said:
“Scotland’s town centres need to be fit for the 21st century, offering a diverse range of businesses, services and activities that meet local demand. There are already a few examples of communities getting involved in their town centres, introducing innovation and helping to reclaim them as vibrant social spaces.
“The Scottish Government recognises that people across Scotland are interested in the future of their town centres. This £1.7 million through the Town Centre Communities Capital Fund is intended to support enterprising communities with project proposals that complement our Town Centre Action Plan.
“By enabling and supporting enterprising community organisations to take action, we can help make town centres attractive and accessible places that are the thriving civic spaces we know they can be.”
Jane Lamont, Development Manager at Beith Development Trust, said:
“At Beith Trust we work alongside local people to provide opportunities for learning, skills development and personal growth which enable people to step up as makers and shapers within their community and lives rather than simply exist as users and choosers of services designed by external consultants.
“We believe in making things happen in town centres and in communities incrementally building up to bigger projects that can then help to transform the community. As well as our sports offer, we are now based on the High street in Beith which enables more people to connect with the different services that the trust offers. Being visible and joined up is key to the success of any community based organisation.”