A month ago, the Vision for Lanark partnership reported in the Lanark Gazette that it had invited comments from many of the town’s organisations on how they saw the future for the historic burgh and its adjacent attractions of New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde.
The majority of the 25 or so organisations approached at this first stage have now responded in what the partnership steering group says is a fantastic show of interest both in the potential for building a future for the area from its special heritage and in strengthening the community’s hand in determining that future.
This last point attracts a number of comments suggesting the importance of consensus, as one response states, “we need to be more coordinated in our approach (to forward planning) – which is much easier said than done!”
Other points made by respondents include the need to give more support to local businesses which, in turn, can use the special identity of the town, the World Heritage Site and the spectacular Falls of Clyde nature reserve to promote their goods and services.
One respondent echoes the feelings of others – “Carbon reduction and sustainable living to combat climate change is the single most important issue facing humanity and no less so in the microcosm of Lanark / New Lanark.” Another is typical in highlighting a related issue – “Transport will always need support if it is to provide a service on a sustainable basis… …we need a sound strategy.”
On how to go about securing a better future, the importance of “revolutionising” social media and of engaging the community through heritage are common themes from some of the comments received.
Chance for everyone to comment
The Vision for Lanark paper has stimulated over 300 views of the webpages for the report, while the report’s Facebook link has reached over 2000 hits. The detailed written responses from community groups have been rich and thoughtful. The Streering Group wishes to offer thanks to all who have taken the time to respond with positive and sometimes thought-provoking comments. This has encouraged the group to keep going to Stage Two of the consultation which commences this week.
As of today (7th October 2020), the consultations move up a gear and every resident, employer or employee in the Lanark and New Lanark area is invited to go online and fill in the consultation form that they will find there.
Alternatively, if you are not online, you can see the report at Lanark Tolbooth during normal opening hours and obtain a paper questionnaire to fill in and leave there.
The deadline for responses is Saturday 31 October. The revised deadline for Stage One responses is now 12 October but any organisation which was not included and would like to complete the full Stage One questionnaire should contact Lanark Community Development Trust on firstname.lastname@example.org where any questions can also be answered.
Updates on this work will be provided with posts on these websites and by social media but all responses will be kept confidential within the overall summaries produced.
The members of the steering group from Lanark Community Development Trust, Discover Lanark, New Lanark Trust and the Scottish Wildlife Trust recognise that the real challenge is then to make things happen. The groundwork has already begun with potential partners on those key initiatives identified in The Vision for Lanark report that have already received support. In addition to responses from the people of Lanark, the group would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer their services.