What is Placemaking in Rural Scotland?

Updated: Feb 22

Strathyre Balquhidder and Lochearnhead Smart Village communities



This question may crop up fairly soon as there is a drive to encourage the updating of local Community Development Plans, some of which have been dormant for a few years. A new Buzz-word contributing to this process is Placemaking. The concept of Placemaking is often thought to be focussed on Village and Town centres and how they look. So it is in some eyes, quite focused on a simple vision of achievable improvements. It does no harm to think much wider than this to help update the local plan with some fresh ideas which some may feel are urgently needed.


By 2022 all communities in Scotland will need to have their ideas and aspirations agreed and in place to integrate into the Regional and National Plans. Its very important to get thinking caps on now and to consider the Village you live in and how you would like it to look like and be like to live in - in the years ahead so we are not left behind.


The Placemaking plan needs to represent the views of the whole community in each of our three villages and this includes everyone of all ages.


The Placemaking plan will be managed through a small team in each community reporting into BLS Community Trust and the BLS Community Council. Representation from each Village is important to gather all of the views and suggestions. There is no such thing as a bad idea.


Smart Village Scotland is interested in this process, which we hope to support in some communities in Rural Scotland, offering help and advice where we can and if requested.


This BLS Smart Village Portal offers a place where ideas can be discussed and shared, although it will be the dedicated Placemaking team that will manage the recording of this for the Placemaking Plan.


In considering the Placemaking plan, its very sensible to be ambitious and imaginative even if ideas need funding support as this will be part of the process.


Placemaking would normally cover specific projects to improve each community, the cosmetic look and appeal and benefits to the community that live there.


A wider range of considerations does no harm as this could help BLS Trust feed this in to the Local Plan beyond the basic Placemaking approach.


Here are some ideas that could be worth considering:


  • Roads and Transport infrastructure - Buses links to trains, Towns, villages etc.

  • Local Businesses and support needs, Hotels, B&Bs, Self Catering, Cafes

  • Planning matters and areas where building will be permitted or not

  • Health and Care support in the community

  • Children - Education and recreation facilities

  • Events, Festivals, Races venues and permissions, other entertainment

  • Sustainable Tourism - Hotels, accommodation and attractions / activities

  • Green Issues, recycling, Pollution, electric car charging etc

  • Flood risk, Environment, climate change impacts and resilience

  • Wildlife and promotion / protection

  • Village structure, look, gardens, pedestrian areas market place etc

  • Major Tourist attraction ideas to sustain the local economy - Parking, loos

  • Community Resource Centre / facility / Halls / Craft Workshop

  • Communications - Mobile - Broadband

  • Income generators - Hydro - Run of river, Wind Power, Solar Power. As we know BLS communities have no shortage of water and wind so its worth looking at how we can secure income through these sources

  • closer Integration of BLS communities

  • Plus other ideas of your own.


These are just some ideas to get you thinking ahead of contact with the team that will pull this together on behalf of each village - Managed through the BLS Trust and Community Council who will update soon on exactly what they need.


.. So thinking caps on..


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