Walking tour showcases town centre as people from across the country explore how to unlock huge potential for communities.

Experiences in Paisley are helping to shape national work to have more people living in Scotland’s town and city centres.

Delegates from across the country took part in a special event at the Town Hall as part of a roadshow series aimed at inspiring and influencing the drive to create stronger, more sustainable communities.

They heard about experiences and ideas locally, including a walking tour of the town which highlighted wider regeneration work and hopes.

The Town Centre Living and Investment Roadshow was spearheaded collaboratively by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Scottish Futures Trust, Architecture and Design Scotland and the Scottish Land Commission.

Key themes and best practices shared during discussions from the five events held as part of it will be shared with the joint CoSLA and Ministerial National Towns Forum in April.

Kimberley Guthrie, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “Getting out and about has been an important reminder as to how town centre living can be a major catalyst for positive change.”

Delegates at the Paisley session included representatives of councils, community organisations architects, town planners and housing associations.

Mhairi Donaghy, Associate Director at Scottish Futures Trust, said: “Town centre living is a huge part of the future for our town and city centres, creating the power to catalyse other developments in communities.”

Each session focussed on a different topic with talks in Paisley focussing on attracting investment from the private sector to support developments.

Heather Claridge, Director of Design at Architecture and Design Scotland, said: “We need to have more people living in our town centres to create vibrant environments, but also to live in a more compact and sustainable way.”

A total of 220 people have taken part in the events, which also took place in Falkirk, Perth and Inverness, with a further session being held online.

David Stewart, the Scottish Land Commission’s Policy and Practice Lead, added: “A great variety of people have come together to share ideas, experiences and so much positivity about the potential of town centre living.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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