THE people of Dalmellington, Bellsbank and Burnton turned out in force at the weekend to have a say in shaping the area’s future.
Over 200 local residents attended a special event in the Community Hall to learn the results of the extensive survey and consultations to prepare a 5 year Community Action Plan.
Those who attended also cast their votes on which projects will share in a £30,000 seedcorn funding package from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
Rae Murphy, chair of the Community Council, said: “We were delighted with the response, and the enthusiasm of local people to use this opportunity to make a real difference.
“We will have to take a bit of time to count the votes and weigh up all the responses but a number of proposals from the survey attracted a lot of support.”
High up the list were:
• Promoting tourism to the area, including better signage and facilities for caravans at Loch Doon
• Town centre renovations
• Dealing with crime and disorder
• Improving local community facilities and play areas
• Developing interest in the area’s heritage, including mining, weaving and historic sites
Rae added: “Apart from providing really positive feedback, the day was a great opportunity for the community and local organisations to come together.
“We had contributions from Doon Academy, Dalmellington, Bellsbank and St Xavier’s Primary Schools and Dalmellington Silver Band. A number of local organisations took stands, and we also had representatives from the police and local authorities.
“In fact the day was such a success that we are thinking of making it an annual event where local organisations can come together, find out what each other is doing and plan for the future.”
Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the community becoming so involved in an Action Plan for their future.
“Our Community Futures programme was intended to give places like Dalmellington the opportunity to focus on what they want to do improve their own areas, and some seedcorn funding to get specific projects off the ground.
“Dalmellington has really risen to that challenge.”
The Community Futures Steering Group plans to produce their first draft of the Community Action Plan, and identify the projects that will share the £30,000 funding, by the end of October. Dalmellington Community Futures and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is being supported by the Small Town & Rural Development Group, who have also helped Barrmill in North Ayrshire and Barrhill in South Ayrshire to prepare Community Futures Action Plans.
Dalmellington Community Council , Sharon Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Town and Rural Development Group, Lesley Campbell email@example.com
Note to Editors:
The Scottish Government funds the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland
Our key priorities are supporting local initiatives to improve health and employment prospects for those who live in coalfields areas.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust was formed in 1999 to help mining communities recover from the devastating effects of pit closures. Since then the Trust has spent over £15m in Scotland supporting over 500 community-based and job creation projects in the hardest hit areas.
For more information on the Coalfields Regeneration Trust go to: http://www.coalfields-regen.org.uk
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