Dumfries and Galloway Council agreed in June 2021 that five places across our region should be included in the Borderlands Place Programme. Those communities would be supported to progress Place Plans as a first step towards preparing Borderlands Town Investment Plans to secure growth deal capital funding. Kirkconnel is the first of the towns identified to advance its plan. The other four towns are: Gretna, Stranraer, Whithorn and Wigtown.
A ‘Kirkconnel Parish Place Plan’ has now been prepared and agreed by the ‘Town Team’ which identifies a series of interventions across 5 core themes:
• A Sustainable Town • A Wellbeing Town
• A Vibrant Town • A Centred Town
• A Welcoming Town
Several priorities are coming to the fore, with the planned Skills and Innovation Centre in Kelloholm at the heart of the plan.
Whilst the Plan details a range of interventions of different sizes, scale and implementation timeframe, it also lays out a number of ambitious priorities that centre around the transition of the community from old forms of energy, such as coal, to new – renewables.
The next step, providing the report is endorsed by Members of the Council’s Economy and Resources Committee (24 Jan), is for the Place Plan to be presented to the Borderlands Place Programme Board at its next available meeting. If recommended by the Place Board, a mandate will be sought from the Borderlands Place Partnership to prepare a Borderlands Town Investment Plan (BTIP) for Kirkconnel and Kelloholm.
Chair of Economy and Resources Committee, Katie Hagmann said: “It’s great to see Kirkconnel and Kelloholm achieving this milestone in their journey. Place Plans, through the Borderlands Investment offer interesting and exciting themes and opportunities for our local towns and villages. They help identify long term visions for the future of our communities, providing a route map to regeneration and economic growth, which in turn with benefit householders, businesses and individuals alike.”
Vice Chair, Sean Marshall, said: “The Place plan sets out a vision for the future by local people who actually live there and know what they want and need in their community. Kirkconnel is only one of 5 places in Dumfries and Galloway targeted for investment through the Borderland Growth Deal’s Place Programme. If this funding is achieved, it should have the knock-on effect of attracting other investors to the area, creating jobs, housing, and an attractive place to live and work.”
To read the full report and plan Click HERE and go to Item 12: