Appeal to communities to back local investment

Communities across Angus are being urged to embrace a new way in which people can unite to unlock investment and build a better future.

Friday, 10th March 2023, 3:29pm
Appeal to communities to back local investment

Regeneration experts and the Scottish Government are keen to see the expansion of Community Improvement Districts to deliver on residents’ ambitions for the county.

The model builds on the well-established Business Improvement District model, credited with levering millions of pounds worth of investment in towns and cities nationally.

Rather than involving just businesses, however, the Community Improvement District brings in any interested organisation or group to decide on the area’s priorities and take action.

It is a way of making communities better places in which to live, work and visit which supporters believe could not only help the continued recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, but also the local response to the climate emergency and cost of living crisis.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Scotland’s Improvement Districts (SIDs), an arm of Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP).

To create a Community Improvement District, a group would need to take ownership of the drive locally and secure majority support to collect a legally-binding levy payment through a ballot of businesses who would be levy-payers to make the scheme financially possible.

Help and advice is available from SIDs’ expert team on the legal and practical steps which should be followed at every stage of the process.

Phil Prentice, SIDs’ national programme director, said: “The Community Improvement District model holds huge potential in achieving positive change for places across Angus. It’s a way of embracing the uniqueness of communities and encouraging true collaboration to help achieve residents’ ambitions. It gives them the means by which to decide how they invest in the area’s future.

“This really is an exciting development which our team is keen to discuss with any potentially interested community group.”

To find out more about how to set up an improvement district, go to www.improvementdistricts.scot or email info@improvementdistricts.scot.

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