Twenty four people joined an online focus group hosted by Celebrate Kilmarnock last week, as part of a public consultation which aims to involve local people directly in owning, designing and shaping the future of their town.
This included looking at the future of the site which will be opened up by the ongoing demolition of the former Mothercare building at the corner of King Street and St. Marnock Street.
There was representation from Kilmarnock Business Association, local councillors and officers from East Ayrshire Council, Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MYSPs), members of the community, Celebrate Kilmarnock and owners and operators of businesses located near to the former Mothercare building site which is currently undergoing redevelopment.
Felicity Steers of ERZ Ltd presented some initial sketch concepts which have been designed following previous stakeholder engagement with Celebrate Kilmarnock. Landscape architect Felicity presented three concept designs, sharing her professional insights into what she thought would be possible on the site. Celebrate Kilmarnock volunteer Derek Kealey hosted an interactive Mentimeter feedback session, giving all attendees the opportunity to give their views on each of the three concepts. Using Mentimeter to make their views known, participants could submit their comments anonymously and vote online without having to speak, making the whole video conferencing experience more enjoyable.
East Ayrshire Council’s Strategic Lead on Community Regeneration, Dot Grieve, gave a summary of the seed funding that was available to take the project to the next stage, and Town Centre Regeneration Officer, Fraser Kerr shared details of the current progress with demolition of the derelict buildings.
Celebrate Kilmarnock volunteer Elaine Cowan chaired the focus group. She said:
“Our aim is to ensure that local people are directly involved in owning, designing and shaping the future of our town. We value everyone’s views, opinions and ideas and we want to encourage as many local people as possible to “Speak up for Kilmarnock “ and help shape and build a town we can all be proud of”.
“We’re keen to keep the conversations and engagement going throughout the entire lifespan of this project. All the views, feedback, ideas and concerns from the focus group event will now be considered by the core group and by ERZ to inform the next phase of the design.
“The demolition work will continue and is on target to have the site cleared of all debris by the end of May. We’ll be keeping everyone informed of any future events and anyone who wishes to become involved can be added to our distribution lists by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”