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Business Improvement Districts highlight importance of town centre living

Business Improvement District (BIDs) have been sharing their views on the importance of town centre living in building stronger and more sustainable communities.

Representatives of a number BIDs were among those who took part in the 2024 Town Centre Living and Investment Roadshow, delivered collaboratively by Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Scottish Futures Trust, Architecture and Design Scotland and the Scottish Land Commission.

They highlighted the game-changing impact that having more people living in town centres can have – both in bringing empty or neglected spaces back into use and by creating more on-the-doorstep custom for shops, services and other businesses there.

But they also raised the need to ensure that services and attractions are there for people who choose to make town centres their home, so that the experiences of living there are as positive as possible.

Paisley First BID manager Natalie McShane shared her views after the roadshow held an event in Paisley, where the focus was on exploring how the private sector can work with organisations of all kinds to deliver investment and change.

She said: “It’s really important that we get people back living into town centres, but it’s also crucial that the facilities are here for them when they do come to live.

“We need to make sure we protect the businesses to make sure people are not living somewhere like Paisley town centre, but then jumping on the train to Glasgow for all their needs.

“We need to make sure the town centre is a strong place and accessible for everyone.”

Watch more of what Natalie shared in the video below.


Town centre living is a move credited with adding vibrancy and footfall to towns, whether by bringing disused sites back to life, creating a new generation of sustainable homes above shops and other buildings or on other sites.

Its benefits can further enhance the work of BIDs in championing and promoting their communities as great places to live, work and visit – helping the businesses and people in them to thrive.

Scotland’s Improvement Districts (SIDs), which supports the work of BIDs across the country, is part of the wider Scotland’s Towns Partnership family.

They deliver change and boost businesses in communities across the country by giving people the means by which to unlock the unique potential of every place.

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You can read more about the Town Centre Living and Investment Roadshow by clicking here.