East Ayrshire Council teams are already working with communities on proposals to use their £1.7m share of a new £50m Scottish Government fund aimed at boosting town centre regeneration.
Announced in the recent Scottish Government budget, the fund has been set up with COSLA to help make high streets more diverse, sustainable and successful as they meet the challenge of changing use patterns in retail and leisure.
Welcoming the news, Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader, East Ayrshire Council said: “We’re delighted to receive this boost to the work we’re already doing on town centre regeneration throughout East Ayrshire. Our teams are already having discussions on community led regeneration with a number of groups. Plans to use this money will be incorporated in an update paper on community led regeneration which will be presented to Cabinet for approval in May 2019.”
Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure said: “Over the past few years we’ve spent millions on our town centre in conjunction with building owners and partner organisations on projects using Historic Environment Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), Townscape Heritage Initiatives, Heritage Lottery Funding and our Town Centre Vacant and Derelict Buildings scheme.
“We’ve also built up strong links with community organisations and instigated Community Led Action Plans and Placemaking Maps, empowering communities to have much more say in the future of their communities and town centres.
“Moving forward, the emphasis is all about strengthening our work with communities and recognising that sustainable use for our high streets should come from a concerted effort between public, private and voluntary sectors.
“While this money is proportionately small compared to the demands of the task in hand, it is nevertheless a very welcome boost and will enable us to drive the changes we need to make to provide a brighter future for our communities.”