SURF- Scotland’s regeneration forum is pleased to announce they have been awarded £15,000 from the Scottish Government’s Making Places Initiative to develop the Langholm’s Future Charrette.

The purpose of the ‘Langholm’s Future Charrette’ is to engage those aged between 14 and 40 in the town’s future development.

A Charette  is a period of intense work that brings a range of stakeholders, public, and planners together in a concerted effort to understand a range of views, jointly address a problem, and create a plan for future action.

Joan McAlpine, MSP for South of Scotland Region, said: “I welcome this grant from the Scottish Government particularly because it will be used to gather the views of young people about Langholm’s  future. The town has experienced an number of economic woes in recent years but it has a fantastic level of community involvement,  which I know SURF will use to  help regenerate the town.”

Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy Environment and Infrastructure Committee, who’s local Ward includes Langholm, said: “This is great news. Langholm is a priority area for the Council and this funding will be key in the future development of Langholm and its economy. The Council and SURF are working collaboratively with the Langholm Community so that local people have their say in the future of their town. This partnership work and engagement will enable and support plans for Langholm’s regeneration. We are delighted to be supporting this initiative which has been so successful in gaining funding from the ‘Making Places Initiative’ “.

Peter Renwick- SURF’s Langholm Facilitator, said: “I am delighted that the Making Places Initiative is investing in Langholm’s Future. SURF’s work in Langholm is at an early stage, and to draw in further investment through the Making Places Initiative is a great start. The aim is to make sure that as the community takes the lead in the Town’s future that young peoples voices are integral to these plans”

This work follows on from SURF’s Alliance for Action feasibility study which highlighted:

  • The potential for development and job creation in the areas of tourism, heritage, and creative industries in Langholm.
  • The lack of participation in community activity and development by a younger demographic, defined as under the age of 40.

The initiative will draw out views, knowledge and ideas from those under the age of 40, who are living, working and/or studying in Langholm in its substantial, but presently underplayed, heritage and tourism assets. In doing so it will explore practical links and development opportunities in employment and economic development.

SURF has experience of managing Community Charrettes in Rothesay (‘Remaking Rothesay‘, 2016) and in Dunoon (‘Think Dunoon‘, 2017). Both of which were instrumental in the development of the towns. They have a track record of:

  • Bringing an attention-grabbing intensive process, which can appeal to people that do not normally engage with regeneration;
  • Focusing on practical, long-term action, which brings people together around a shared vision and priority projects;
  • Gaining the respect of local authorities and other regeneration players for their outcomes. Which is instrumental in fulfilling plans developed through the process.

SURF will use the Making Places funding to deliver a programme of attractive and creative processes targeted at engaging local young people from Langholm in wider cross-sector collaborations. The outcomes of the Charrette process will provide a strategic plan towards the successful, and sustainable, regeneration of Langholm.

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