We’ve all heard about the importance of regeneration so today (14 January), the Local Government and Regeneration Committee has launched an inquiry to examine what it means in practice and it wants to hear views from across Scotland.
Last year, the Scottish Government published its regeneration strategy with the aim of reversing the economic, physical and social decline in areas across Scotland. The Committee wants to identify what has worked well in regenerating communities and what barriers still exist.
To see the impact that regeneration can have within a community, the Committee will today visit Cumbernauld Glen Wildlife Reserve. A community based conservation project, the Reserve is also home to the Glen Mile Mountain Bike trail, a facility widely used within the community including local schools.
Speaking ahead of the visit Committee Convener Kevin Stewart MSP said:
“We have all heard about the importance of regeneration in revitalising our towns, cities and communities, but our Committee wants to know what impact regeneration actually has in practice.
“Looking at how communities can be empowered to help themselves will be high on our list and an important aspect of this will be looking at the funding processes in place and making sure that these are clear and accessible for everyone.
“But we will not just be looking at regeneration policy in isolation. We will be meeting with community groups involved in regeneration to explore how this works in practice. We also want to hear about the benefits regeneration can bring and how these can be sustained for future generations.”
During its consideration of the draft 2013-14 budget, the Committee heard evidence that there was concern about the extent to which the Scottish Government’s regeneration strategy works with other policies such as the National Planning Framework and the Infrastructure and Investment Plan. This is an aspect that the Committee will also be examining during its inquiry.
Other aspects the Committee will examine include:
- Whether it is possible to separate physical, social and economic regeneration?
- Is there adequate funding available for regeneration projects?
- How can this funding be accessible by all parts of the community?
- To what extent are current regeneration projects sustainable?
- In what ways can communities be encouraged to be involved at all stages of regeneration projects.
More details on the Committee’s call for evidence can be found on the Committee’s webpage.
The closing date for submissions is Friday 15 March 2013.
The Committee will visit Cumbernauld Glen Wildlife Reserve to launch the inquiry.
In considering the draft 2013-14 budget, the Committee focussed its scrutiny on regeneration policy. A copy of the Committee’s report can be found at Annexe E of the Finance Committee’s Report on the Draft 2013-14 Budget.
The Scottish Government’s regeneration strategy - Achieving a Sustainable Future - was published on 12 December 2012. The strategy sought to respond to the key themes from the responses to the Discussion Paper. The regeneration strategy defines regeneration as:
“….the holistic process of reversing the economic, physical and social decline of places where market forces alone won't suffice. This holistic theme runs throughout this Strategy and forms the basis for the propositions and conclusions.”