A new community action plan for Coldstream is in the process of being drawn up and the first step is to appoint consultants to pull all the threads together.
A steering group, which includes members of Coldstream Community Trust’s development committee and Coldstream and District Community Council, has come up with six aspects for improvement: tourism; retail; industry; opportunities, services and support for families and young people; opportunities, services and support available for older people; community capacity to improve.
Now the steering group is looking for consultants to put the meat on the bones of these areas for action, through research and public consultation, and is looking at applying for grant funding of around £30,000 to pay for their services.
“We are looking for the vision to be sensibly aspirational with actions that are realistic and successful if pursued,” said Gerald Tait in the brief to consultants.
“The actions may include instances where the local authorities could step in or external grant funding is available.
“We would also like to have a clear indication of the resources required to make things happen – people, skills, money, technology etc.”
So far there have been seven expressions of interest from consultants and a short-list of three will be drawn up and asked to tender for the work.
The group hopes to have appointed a consultant and work to start on the project by August this year, with the final draft presented to the steering group by November, ready for action to start in 2017.
So what are the benefits of having a community action plan (CAP)?
“Thinking locally, probably the Coldstream Outdoor Play Project, the ongoing and vital Connect Berwickshire Youth Project, the SBC Live Borders culture trust and any major ideas by voluntary, charitable or private organisations would have a better chance of being successful, if we had a robust CAP,” explained Gerald.
“Towns with CAPs appear to have solved a lot of their local issues and a CAP might help our local issues - Trafalgar House, the business park, greyness of ownership of grassed areas, heavy lorries, car parking etc.”