Online resource for Scottish towns launched
A new online toolkit has been launched to give communities information on how they can make their town centres more attractive, active and accessible.
The resource has been developed as one of the key parts of the Town Centre Action Plan, which sets out measures to revitalise Scotland’s town centres.
Using case studies for inspiration, the toolkit is designed to give everyone the opportunity to be involved in making improvements to their local area and offers guidance on how to make best use of the assets already in place.
We recognise that making improvements to town centres can sometimes be difficult for local authorities to balance alongside the other pressures they face
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights Alex Neil said: “Our town centres should be attractive focal points for the community.
“They have to be places where people feel safe and enjoy spending their or else they will choose to go elsewhere.
“The Scottish Government, together with COSLA and local authorities, now actively promotes the application of the Town Centre First Principle.
“We recognise that making improvements to town centres can sometimes be difficult for local authorities to balance alongside the other pressures they face.
“That’s why the toolkit is also targeted at the people who work and live there, as they are often the ones best placed to understand, identify and promote the opportunities that lie within their town centre.”
The online resource will be hosted on a website being re-launched today by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP).
STP will use it to highlight initiatives which may already be underway in towns across the country and help to encourage new activity.
Professor Leigh Sparks, chairman of STP, said: “This open access toolkit is both informative and inspirational.
“It will provoke ideas and creativity which should ultimately lead to a higher quality of design and sustainable placemaking.
“Building the document under clear themes and illustrating it with great examples clearly shows what can be achieved through better planning and design.
“Scotland's Towns Partnership will actively promote the tool to all of our members and partners, we see this Town Centre Toolkit as being a critical component towards delivering a stronger network of towns across Scotland.”
Read Holyrood's recent interview with STP's chief officer Phil Prentice here.