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Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration Project (CARS)

The development of the Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration Project (CARS/THI), brought about collaborative working with various stakeholders to support the growth of town centre living. This case study outlines the key processes, collaborative efforts, and lessons learned from the project, which can serve as a model for similar initiatives in other areas of Scotland.e.

From the outset, the group prioritised community engagement through various consultation events to identify key community priorities. This engagement provided a clear vision for developing the project’s goals and ensured that the community was invested in the project’s outcomes.

The Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration Project (CARS/THI) Steering Group, consisted of local representatives and public sector partners, including Registered Social Landlords (RSLs). This group met quarterly for five years, ensuring consistent dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders.

The project addressed several key issues to make Campbeltown more investable, including:

  • Focusing on small businesses and reducing business voids
  • Refurbishing tenements
  • Investing in major infrastructure projects like a new leisure centre, enhanced marina, harbour, and local road improvements
  • Refurbishing community assets such as Campbeltown Town Hall and Picture House

 

 

For the group, it was important to take a holistic, strategic approach to town centre regeneration. By addressing multiple aspects, they created a vision that the community could understand and support. This approach helped to prioritise actions and demonstrated to external funders the need for investment and its potential outcomes. The comprehensive strategy led to longer-lasting outcomes and empowered local communities to take the lead in regeneration efforts.

This holistic approach takes into consideration non-residential elements, which are crucial in a place-based approach. Successful places offer diverse experiences and amenities, such as urban and green spaces, recreation areas, small businesses, and community facilities. The Campbeltown project supported community organisations in securing ownership of assets and repurposing vacant buildings, enhancing the town’s overall appeal and functionality.

 

Key takeaways and lessons learned:
  • Presence in the Town Centre: Establishing a physical office or shop in the town centre enhances accessibility and visibility, fostering trust and engagement with the community.
  • Regular Communications: Consistent updates and transparent communication with all stakeholders are vital for maintaining trust and managing expectations.
  • Managing Expectations: Community change takes time; managing expectations regarding the project’s timeline is crucial for long-term support.
  • Community-Centric Decision Making: Involving the local community in decision-making processes ensures that the outcomes reflect their needs and aspirations.
  • Parallel Activities: Implementing parallel activities, such as traditional skills training, promoting the value of maintenance, and providing business support, enhances the project’s impact.
  • Quick Win Projects: Early successes help gain community buy-in and momentum for longer-term initiatives.