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Where now for our town centres? Your views are wanted...

Professor Sparks

A HUGE question as we battle back from the damage wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic is what happens to our town centres? Many businesses have vanished or been hammered financially and adjusting to the so-called new normal is proving an issue for many. Now an Expert Review Group formed by the Scottish Government is to undertake an appraisal of the Town Centre Action Plan published in 2013 and has issued a national survey to gather the views of communities on the future of their towns. The review will be undertaken by a group chaired by Professor Leigh Sparks, Deputy Principal and Professor of Retail Studies at the University of Stirling. Members of the Review Group include COSLA, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Improvement Service, South of Scotland Enterprise, the Carnegie Trust, the Federation of Small Businesses, Public Health Scotland, Sustrans, Development Trust Association Scotland, Inclusion Scotland and the Scottish Government. The Review will include a range of consultation exercises with the general public and other stakeholders and report later in the year. As part of the review, The Expert Review Group is inviting local communities to share their views through a public survey. The survey will run until Wednesday 30th September 2020. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/yourviewsontowns The survey accompanies a formal call for evidence and a series of oral evidence sessions which will take place next week. Professor Sparks said: “Scotland is a nation of towns. But towns aren't just a series of buildings, streets and pavements. They are made up of people and local communities. As we begin the task of forging a new vision for towns it is crucial that the voices, views and ideas of local people are at its heart. “The Review Group wants to hear from as many people as possible about their experiences and their ideas for the future. Local people aren't just bystanders in our towns - communities are the very life-blood of our society. If we can put together a strategy that has community input and buy-in from the start, it is our hope that we can all share in the responsibility for its success.” The Review is tasked with issuing its report and recommendations for consideration by the Scottish Government by the end of 2020.

<< back Published: 13 Aug 2020, 12:21

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