A community action plan has been launched by the Langholm Alliance.
The tagline of the plan is to make Langholm an even better place to live, work and visit.
It follows two years of research and community consultation by the group and is over a 10-year period until 2030.
The introduction to the plan states: “This is a unique and rare opportunity to establish a long-term partnership with a town that is well placed to lead the way for small town regeneration in Scotland.
“Much of the buildings, infrastructure and land needed to create visitor attractions are owned within the community and there is strong voluntary support to make Langholm a thriving sustainable economy.
It is hoped that the plan can also help people from other communities to develop their own projects and vision.
The plan considers the departure of the town’s industry, its fall in population and the fact that a significant number of its residents are now over 65 years old.
There remained an optimism that Langholm was “uniquely” placed to take advantage of a changing economic landscape and consumer demands with a focus on eco-tourism and creating a hub for small business start-ups.
The Alliance also state that the area has underutilised natural assets and a rich history and heritage from which to capitalise.
By 2030, the vision is for Langholm to be a “celebrated hub for small business and quality textiles and a renowned visitor destination for its natural environment, its rich heritage, and its quality produce”.
Langholm will be a natural home to small businesses and enterprise including modern textile manufacture and craftsmanship. The town will also be rich with people, spaces and connectivity to support business and there has been a development of connected businesses under a Langholm brand, synonymous with quality craftsmanship and builds on the rich heritage of the town.
Priorities for change have been identified through a process of engagement with local community groups and key individuals. The main themes for the Plan are:
- Infrastructure and Energy – the retention and sustainable development of the key areas of infrastructure that will support the delivery of the plan, including transport links, public services and sustainable energy use.
- Business and Economic Development – gaining strategic support; attracting inward investment; and developing projects.
- Tourism – marketing/promotion; making sure Langholm is ‘open for business’; and developing a single voice for tourism locally.
- Sports, Leisure and Outdoor Activity – developing outdoor activity and adventure holiday opportunities; supporting and improving access to existing sports & leisure facilities and activities.
- Arts and Culture – creative place-making, investment and infrastructure; communication and marketing; co-ordination, networking and partnership working and education.
- Heritage – promotion and marketing; development of a hub (space or service) for heritage and genealogy; history and learning.
- Health and Social Care – the protection and development of health and social care services; the development of community-led/run health and social care activities and services.
- Children and Young People – youth involvement in decision-making; youth-led activities; employment and training.
High level goals have been split through the 10-year period of the plan:
By 2020 they will have:
- Developed and tested a shared services model and understood the impact it can have on new and existing businesses and projects.
- Embedded the organisational design, aligning sub groups and creating clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities in order to deliver several quick wins which will build on existing economic projects.
By 2022 they will have:
- Opened a mixed-use business start-up hub for new business to learn and grow in their early years, supporting their success and kick start the growth of small business development.
- Supported the establishment of a range of social and economic projects to address the key priorities within The Langholm Alliance 2030 Plan.
- Explored and addressed infrastructure issues and opportunities and developed a sustainable energy plan.
By 2025 they will have:
- Increased employment opportunities within Langholm and trebled the number of tourist visitors to the town.
- Supported more than 10 businesses to grow and coordinate activities to ensure a joined up complementary activity to Langholm’s future prosperity.
- Supported our young people to take up employment in roles directly created from the Langholm Alliance 2030 plan.
- Revitalised the high street and brought social and economic projects to fruition.
By 2030 they will have:
- Fully reversed the economic and demographic decline through sustainable business development. They will contribute to the development of new housing developments, modern health and social care facilities and excellent sport, leisure and arts facilities.
To download or view the community plan click here: Langholm Community Plan 2020-2030