Ambitious plans to help regenerate Clackmannan took a step forward this week when a meeting of the Council agreed actions to deliver new affordable housing, community enterprise facilities, streetscape improvements and the relocation of a local business to new premises.
Funding of over £5 million will be spent in Clackmannan - £2.193 million from the Council's Capital Programme, £2 million from the Scottish Government's Economic Development Fund and £1.1 million from the Scottish Government's Housing Grant and Infrastructure Grant.
A formal agreement will be signed with Kingdom Housing Association following the Council's acquisition of the former print works at 59 Main Street to develop new affordable flats in the Main Street/North Street, with business units below. Detailed design will now be subject to planning consent and community consultation.
A feasibility study is investigating the steps required to introduce a new Community Enterprise Hub within the current CAP adjoining the Town Hall. And further community workshops will take place to explore potential uses for the hub by local groups.
A project to improve the streetscape along the whole of the Main Street and Port Street/Lochies Road has been formulated in partnership with Clackmannan Community Council and Clackmannan Development Trust. It will seek to address the priorities identified in the Community Action Plan, including local heritage, parking, roads and transport and the appearance of the town.
Acquisition of the Hunters Executive Coaches premises has been completed, and once they have relocated to Dumyat Business Park the site will be cleared. Plans for the site are at any early stage, however the principal of a social housing development has been agreed as part of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan.
The regeneration of Clackmannan has involved partnership working between the Council and local community groups, enabling a number of objectives within the Clackmannan Community Action Plan to be progressed. Robert Horne, chair of Clackmannan development Trust, said: "The Community Action Plan, which involved extensive local consultation, reflects the priorities of the resident of Clackmannan. The plan has provided a focal point to develop a positive partnership with the Council that has ultimately secured funding to fulfil a number of improvement that the community wanted to see happen. We are delighted to be able to take these forward over the coming year. There is more to do; the funding will not support everything we set out to do in our action plan, however we see this as a springboard to continue working with the Council and other partners to regenerate and revitalise our community."
The Council has been involved in negotiations to secure a £1.18 million development of a larger affordable housing site at Burnside. Working with the Falkirk Pension Fund, Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association, Places for People and Ambassador Homes, it is hoped to provide 75 new homes, 35 of which are planned for social rent.
Council Leader Les Sharp said: "This regeneration project will bring a £4 million investment into Clackmannan, with the Council and the Scottish Government working together with partners from housing and the community to make the town a great place to live and for business to flourish. It is important that the local community continue to be an active participant in the plans, and we will continue to work with them over the coming weeks and months to ensure the plans are developed and delivered."