Chance to develop empty properties

Towns across the South of Scotland will be able to bid for new funding to help them find ways to develop empty and underused properties in their areas, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced.

The new £50,000 Asset Mapping Funding Pot will give development trusts the chance to conduct surveys, work with stakeholders and consult with their communities on the best methods of rejuvenating their town centres.

Commenting, SNP MSP Aileen McLeod said: “Our towns should be vibrant, attractive and safe places where local people and visitors want to spend their time and money.

“This ambition can be blighted by neglected or derelict buildings and very often communities themselves have innovative ideas for how these eyesores could be put to much better use.

“The first step for any such proposal is to find out more about the building itself and whether it can really contribute to community regeneration – and if there is community support for a proposal. This funding is designed to support that activity.

“This region has many active and successfully community initiatives and community development trusts, many of which now have valuable direct experience of taking on community assets and contributing to regeneration.

“I look forward to seeing how the Trusts who are successful in their bids, use the funding pot to develop plans which will help to prioritise support for local assets, which will then attract new uses, new business and revitalise local economy.”