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Lanark Community Development Trust

Area of Operation:

Lanark and Surrounds
Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley


How We Started

There is no shortage of community groups in Lanark but, for a long time, there seemed to be a gap. Ideas for new events and opportunities for using vacant land or reusing buildings seemed to disappear before anyone took the initiative to turn them into reality. Many people competed to assign blame but some took a more constructive line, asking 'Why don't we do it?'

That thinking led to formation of the Steering Group in 2007. This website summarises where we are now as a fully incorporated body with charitable status. The website describes what community development trusts are and shows what a trust could do in Lanark. There is a lot of work still to do but the emergence of Lanark Community Development Trust means that when opportunities or ideas appear, 'We can do it'.

What We Do

The Community Development Trust Steering Group came together in 2007. It developed a consensus that the town needs an organisation which takes a strategic view, identifies needs and takes on projects which no one else is pursuing. The trust aims to fill this gap.

From the beginning, we have adopted a number of principles:

•Reinforce success. Where something is going well, support it.
•Look for partners and allies. Cooperate rather than criticise.
•Find new talent. Try to draw in people with ideas and energy who were not inspired by any other local activities.

We recently completed a Town Centre Study to provide us with a Community Action Plan. This is being progressed alongside a community facility project and a component part of the wider restoration of Castlebank, a local park.

Our Future Plans

The Trust is considering a number of initiatives and the following are an example of current and proposed projects, including a number of issues that may be faced:

•Lanark Town Centre Study - This study is the first main project of the Lanark Trust and aims to appraise Lanark’s current function as a Town Centre and to identify opportunities for contributing to the viability and vitality of the town. The Trust is the lead body responsible for the study which has been funded by South Lanarkshire Council. Following a tender process, Kevin Murray Associates were appointed to carry out this piece of work. The study has involved engaging with a range of stakeholders through a series of interviews, workshops and surveys. This included the private, public and community sectors. It also includes a place design and functionality survey. A final report is now available and an Action Plan is is being developed. The Action Plan will identify a number of development/ project options, some of which will form the main development/ project agenda for the Trust.

•Vision for Lanark - following on from the town centre study the Trust is moving forward with its "Vision for Lanark" which has involved us in consultations with a wide range of community groups requesting their support to carry forwrd ideas to trigger a regenerated town centre.

•Community Workspace - The need and / or desire for a local community asset for storage, construction of Lanimer floats and scenery for local arts groups, rehearsal space for local groups and pipe bands etc. None of the organisations most likely to benefit from such a provision have the financial capacity to lead such a community project in isolation. It will be critical for an umbrella organisation such as the Trust to undertake such a project on behalf of all interested parties. The next stage of this project is to carry out an audit of existing community facilities in Lanark to understand where any new facility would 'fit' locally. Further consultation with community organisations that may use the facility will be ongoing.

•Renovation of Old St Kentigerns Church - The Trust is taking the lead in this initiative to stabalise and then renovate the ruin of this historic building where William Wallace worshipped and is reputed to have married Marion Braidfute who was later murdered by the Sheriff of Lanark in 1297.

•Castlebank Park Horticultural Training Centre - Phase 1 of this project is now complete with a large secure growing area with polytunnels and raised beds and a toilet block being used by school groups and various other groups under the supervision of our educational gardener. Funding for phase 2 is currently being sought to renovate an old sawmill building into a classroom, kitchen, office and gallery.

•Murray Chapel - The Trust is the lead partner in a newly establsihed consortium who are taking forward proposals to refurbish the Category A-listed Murray Memorial Mortuary Chapel. It is hoped that a number of educational elements can be introduced to the project and that a genealogy facility can be incorporated.

•Lanark Heritage Trail - The Town Centre Study encouraged more to be made of the town's historical assets and 'hidden gems'. This project put together a package of measures which will be attractive to the regional day visitor. The project will consist of a heritage trail brochure, installation of interpretation panels and an audio tour.

Contact Details

Sylvia Russell

01555 662676
sylvia_russell [at] btinternet [dot] com

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Last Updated: Mon, 07/07/2014 - 10:10