Launch showcases skills to take on Langholm’s regeneration
THE news that the Langholm Alliance is being funded to employ a full-time officer is “excellent news”, says its chairman, Denis Male.
Denis Male, chairman, said: “It has made all the hard work by the steering group, along with SCDC and SURF over the past two years, very worthwhile.
“The presentation of the community action plan and the tourism strategy showcased the existing skills to take on the town’s regeneration.”
He added: “Thanks to everyone who came together to form the alliance and produced the plan.
“When EWM said it was going to leave Langholm, myself and Paul Wheelhouse MSP brought together various people from the community to discuss how we would move forward.
“It’s fair to say there was not a uniformity of views as to how that would be achieved.
“Langholm has many different groups and many different opinions. The great achievement of this plan is that Langholm is speaking with one voice.
“It’s really important, when you go to Russel Griggs and his organisation, that everyone is looking for the same thing.
“The £60,000 was not just dished out. He gave the money to people who put forward substantive propositions which looked as though they would deliver. Securing the fund has shown what can be achieved by everyone coming together.”
The audience at the launch also heard that this was a time of opportunity with the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency coming into operation next year and the Borderlands Growth Deal, a collaboration between the UK and Scottish governments and the five cross-border local authorities.
Expressions of support were from councillor Archie Dryburgh, Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire MSP, and David Stevenson, who has advised the alliance.
Mr Dryburgh said: “Langholm has seen some real losses in the past few years and the community and its partners need to think differently about its future.
“The plan puts in place some key steps to ensure viability is there. I fully support the outcomes of the action plan and consultation process which has got us to this stage. Support will be needed from all quarters.”
Mr Mundell said: “This is a sterling and comprehensive pice of work and everyone who contributed to it can be proud.
“The hard work is only just beginning and I look forward to working with the community to make Langholm a better place.”
Mr Stevenson said: “Congratulations to the steering group in getting the plan over the line. It contains the solutions and the community has the ability and commitment to deliver it. Now all you need is public support to help make it happen.”
After the launch, councillor Ronnie Tait said: “I think it was well received by those who attended.
“The brochure is well designed with an excellent logo featuring our iconic monument.
“I would suggest it is a long-term plan and I’m sure aspirations in different themes will alter as things progress.
“I think it’s most important, and this is highlighted on page 28 of the brochure and touched on in the presentation, that the community is kept involved.
“I look forward to the first community plan newspaper.”
Stuart Marshall, a councillor for Hawick and Denholm, who attended said everyone involved in the production of this fantastic document deserved great credit.
“I’m confident this easy-to-read, 10-year plan will grow into something very special for everyone who lives in the Muckle Toon.
“It was abundantly clear that Langholm is a very special Toon filled with so many wonderful citizens who care deeply about their community.”