New measures to revitalise Scottish town centres

A new report by the Scottish Government and COSLA has outlined actions to better embed a ‘Town Centre First’ approach to meet the needs of communities and tackle climate change.

Actions proposed include ensuring that town centre regeneration contributes to climate action by reducing emissions, investing in low carbon transport and creating more green spaces, alongside making sure that town centre services as accessible as possible to help reduce unnecessary car journeys and prevent climate change.

The Scottish Government has also set out actions calling for the planning system to limit out of town development and ensure the non-domestic rates system continues to support net zero ambitions by providing reliefs for businesses generating more energy from renewable sources.

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur said: “This response has been developed in partnership with local government and recognises how vital town centres are for Scotland’s economic, environmental and social well-being.

“The actions in this report provide a framework to meet our ambitions and give communities the freedom and confidence to deliver locally. They will help improve our town centres following the pandemic and deliver net zero climate ambitions whilst promoting better planning and delivering enhanced digital capabilities for businesses and residents.

“This approach will also help us deliver the entrepreneurship ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation by creating enterprising communities. We all have a role to play in ensuring our towns and town centres deliver the needs of the whole community and these actions will help us deliver that ambition by creating healthier, fairer, greener and more successful towns.”

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