Communities can map out a better future

Coldstream High Street.
Coldstream High Street.

Communities in Eyemouth and Coldstream are currently looking at mapping out their towns’ future, and a new Scottish Government fund could be just what they are looking for.

Funding of £300,000 is being made available through two grant schemes, the Design Charrettes programme and the Activating Ideas Fund, to allow people to have a direct role in making their towns and villages better places to live.

The Design Charrettes programme provides funding to bring together the public, stakeholders and designers over a number of days to draw up viable proposals, while the Activating Ideas Fund will support participation and empowerment initiatives in disadvantaged areas.

Minister for Local Government Kevin Stewart said: “The quality of our places has an important influence on our lives. This Government is committed to empowering communities and involving them in the planning process.

“We have already seen really good examples of this since the Charrettes programme has been running.

“Local communities have a wealth of knowledge about their local area. Bringing communities together with design expertise will enable ideas and proposals to be developed to deliver positive change.

“This initiative provides a way of enabling people across Scotland to have their say on the long- term future of their community.”

For the 2016-2017 Design Charettes programme, grants of between £10,000 to £20,000 are open for applications by community groups, third sector organisations, local authorities and anyone involved with the design, planning or delivery of regeneration projects or new developments.

Activating Ideas grants are expected to be around £15,000. Applicants are expect to demonstrate their project has a strong track record of community participation and innovation.