AN ACTION plan for Langholm is ready to go out to public consultation in the next few weeks.
The plan has been developed by the Langholm Alliance, which was formed more than two years ago after advice from Scottish government ministers and their MSPs and MP as the way forward to redevelop the community.
It will be used to put the case for the type of actions needed to turn Langholm back into a strong, prosperous, thriving community.
With government funding streams coming to this area through the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SoSEP) and the Borderlands Initiative, Langholm needs to be ready to present a united front and a very clear development strategy.
Through the Langholm Alliance steering group, several sub-groups representing the different sectors from business to tourism were formed to put the plan together around key priorities.
The plan has eight different workstreams and has been worked up by sub-groups with the support of SURF (Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum) and the Scottish Community Development Centre.
It has timescales for development from now until 2030.
There are a number of areas covered by the action plan.
They are infrastructure and energy, business and economic development, tourism, sport, leisure and outdoor activity, arts and culture, heritage, health and social care and children and young people.
The priorities have been identified through a process of engagement with community groups and key individuals.
The plan also recognises the excellent work already underway by organisations in the town.
Before the plan is finalised, the alliance is inviting the public to comment on it in the Buccleuch Centre on September 23.
There will be two sessions. The first runs from 2pm until 4 pm and the second session is from 7pm to 9pm.
Denis Male, chairman, said the alliance was grateful to the Scottish Community Development Centre, which is funding the project, and for the support received from SURF.
He said: “There has been a lot of hard work done by the Langholm Alliance steering group and the sub-groups to reach this stage.
“To see representatives from all sectors in the community giving up their valuable time to bring this plan to fruition really gives it a chance of success.
“I hope we have a good turnout at the Buccleuch Centre where people will be able to engage with and comment on each part of the plan.
“When the plan is finalised, it will be forwarded to the government, the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, Dumfries and Galloway Council and other funding bodies.
Peter Renwick, SURF’s project facilitator in Langholm, has been working on a number of issues, including the shop front and town centre improvement scheme.
He has also been liaising with Amey,
which maintains the A7, about the damaged pavements and poor signage in the High Street.
The shop front and town centre scheme was developed with the community council and Langholm Regeneration Group.
The proposal has been approved and he is waiting for a formal offer of grant before launching the scheme.
It will cover property improvement grants, offering 50 per cent match-funding to shop front schemes.