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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Regenerating Scotland’s Town Centres

The SNP Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) have jointly published measures to revitalise town centres and regenerate local economies across North Ayrshire and Scotland.

In response to last year’s review of the Town Centre Action Plan, the report outlines actions to better embed a ‘Town Centre First’ approach to meet the needs of communities and tackle climate change.

Actions include:

  • Ensuring town centre regeneration contributes to climate action by reducing emissions, investing in low carbon transport and creating more green spaces

  • Making town centre services as accessible as possible to help reduce unnecessary car journeys and prevent climate change

  • Incentivising entrepreneurship by delivering the ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation

  • Supporting businesses with the continuation of the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme which means more than 100,000 Scottish businesses pay no rates

  • Developing a new online sales tax that helps traditional businesses compete with those operating online

  • Using the planning system to limit out of town development and ensure our non-domestic rates system continues to support our net zero ambitions by providing reliefs for businesses generating more energy from renewable sources

  • Requiring developers to install and optimise digital connectivity in new town centre housing developments and support community organisations delivering digital skills training

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur MSP said:

“This response has been developed in partnership with local government and recognises how vital town centres are for Scotland’s economic, environmental and social wellbeing.

“The actions in this report provide a framework to meet our ambitions and give communities the freedom and confidence to deliver locally. They will help improve our town centres following the pandemic and deliver net zero climate ambitions whilst promoting better planning and delivering enhanced digital capabilities for businesses and residents.”

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“This approach will also help the SNP Government as well as local authorities deliver the entrepreneurial ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation by creating enterprising communities.

“Both Holyrood and local government have a role to play in ensuring our towns and town centres deliver the needs of our communities. These actions will help deliver that ambition by creating healthier, fairer, greener and more successful towns.”



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