Planning the future of Dalmellington is close to the hearts of local people who turned out in force to show their support for the town.
The first of two workshops gave a glimpse of how the community want to see the town move forward with the help of £20,000 from the Coalfield Regeneration Trust to get projects off the ground.
The trust was formed in 1999 to help mining communities recover from the devastating effects of pit closures. Since then it has spent over £20m in Scotland supporting over 700 community-based and job creation projects in the hardest hit areas.
Dalmellington’s Reclaiming Our Coalfields initiative received a boost last year when the Scottish Government funded the appointment of a community engagement officer in the town, and Elaine Stewart is delighted that 60 people turned out for the first workshop held last month by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and the Electoral Reform Society.
Elaine said: “We were really pleased that so many people gave up their Saturday morning to get involved in planning the community’s future.
“There was a great mix of established community groups and their supporters and lots of fresh faces, and people who might not normally get involved in this type of exercise.”
The meeting discussed the issues facing Dalmellington, highlighting areas of concern, and identifying opportunities to make the town a better place to live, work and visit.
The follow-up meeting on Saturday, March 24, will aim to flesh out potential projects for inclusion in the action plan.
Bob Young, Scottish trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “It is very encouraging to see our joint initiative with the Electoral Reform Society catching the imagination of so many people in Dalmellington.
“It’s great for local democracy and it bodes well for a really relevant and effective Action Plan emerging from their input.”