Town centre action plan review: joint Scottish Government and COSLA response

Joint response from SG and COSLA to the New Future for Scotland's Town Centres report. Sets out some of the ways in which we can all seek to do our part, locally and nationally, in rebuilding, reenergising and reimagining our towns to meet our place and country ambitions.

2. Response

Towns and town centres can deliver many of the ambitions for Scotland and its people. They can only do this if they focus around the specific circumstances of their local communities and ensure all community voices are engaged in the design, development and delivery of local improvements. Town centres are places which provide social, economic, cultural, creative, environmental, entrepreneurial and other opportunities locally. They can provide an important contribution to a wide range of national ambitions at the local level. This includes shared ambitions and Programme for Government priorities including those relating to climate change, Just Transition, our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, Community Wealth Building, National Planning Framework 4, Housing 2040, tackling child poverty, health and wellbeing equalities, Covid recovery and more.

7 overlapping coloured circles: demonstrating how policies interact with one another to impact on a town centre. Surrounding the overlapping circles in the corners are depictions representing Improved Local Economy, Climate Action, Improved Liveability and Quality of Life, Decreased Health Inequalities.

We accept and will adopt the vision developed by the Review group:

"Towns and town centres are for the wellbeing of people, planet and the economy. Towns are for everyone and everyone has a role to play in making their own town and town centres successful."

Whilst the Town Centre vision articulates a role for all to play, the distinct role of national and local government includes that of an enabler, empowering all to play their part and developing the conditions for local solutions to take root.

So what are we and all those with an interest in the future of our towns doing to make that happen?

We have identified 4 broad categories that comprise the Call to Action –

A. Putting the right policy framework in place,

B. Ensuring the right kind of support,

C. Providing a framework for investment, and

D. Working closely with partners.

Actions within these categories have also been linked to deliver outcomes identified within the report - planning, town centre first, taxation and fiscal levers, town centre living, digital towns, enterprising communities and vibrant local economies, climate action, measuring and evaluating progress, demonstrator towns.



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