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A New Future for Scotland’s Towns to be explored at showpiece event

A New Future for Scotland’s towns will be the theme of the 2022 Scotland’s Towns Conference.

The day-long event – organised by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP), the national collective which champions towns and places – will shine a spotlight on the ideas, innovations and actions needed to secure a greener, stronger, more sustainable, future.

It is the first time an in-person conference has been staged in three years. It will be held at CentreStage, in Kilmarnock, on Wednesday November 16th, hosted by broadcaster Rona Dougall.

Speakers will include Tom Arthur MSP, Scotland’s Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, as well Councillor Douglas Reid, the leader of East Ayrshire Council.

The conference comes after the challenges and opportunities that exist for communities were discussed across the country in a roadshow of events examining the Response from the Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) to the New Future for Scotland’s Town Centres report. That response – Scotland’s Town Centre Action Plan Review (TCAP2) – was published earlier this year.

Sessions at the event explore how places can respond to the climate emergency and drive towards net-zero, embracing creativity, enhancing streets and spaces, capitalising on digital opportunities and looking at the future of retail.

Other features will include a Scotland Loves Local Town Square, showcasing many or the organisations inspiring people to help build a better future for their area by thinking, choosing and spending locally.

The day will also celebrate the achievements of finalists in the 2022 Scotland Loves Local Awards and see the winners announced.

Representatives of key enterprise, regeneration and community organisations from across the country will be there.

STP Chair, Professor Leigh Sparks, said: “The Scotland’s Towns Conference is our flagship event – bringing many of the major players involved in supporting our towns and improvement districts together.

“I am delighted that we have secured such a strong line-up of speakers, who I am sure will inform and inspire a vibrant day.

“The conference is a fantastic opportunity for people from communities across the country to get together with national place stakeholders and to become re-energised by the latest thinking, activities and support available.

“There is no avoiding the challenges we face in our communities. But the opportunities we have to build a stronger future are equally as great. Now is the time to embrace them.”

To register your attendance at the conference, please click here.

For details about how to exhibit in the Scotland Loves Local Town Square, email rhona@scotlandstowns.org.

Last year’s Scotland’s Towns Conference was staged via a series of successful online events.