Bute ‘can learn from Govan’s example’

The Portal in Govan operated by Plantation Productions - a community initiative created from an empty and derelict shop with the help of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum.
The Portal in Govan operated by Plantation Productions - a community initiative created from an empty and derelict shop with the help of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum.

Bute has been encouraged to look to Govan as a successful example of community-led urban regeneration.

The call comes after two members of the newly-formed Isle of Bute Trust visited the Clydeside community to see the achievements of an Alliance for Action set up by the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) to breathe new life into the area.

SURF has been commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise to look into the potential for a similar Alliance for Action for Rothesay and Bute, and plans to consult the community in the next few months on what local residents feel should be the top priorities for regenerating the area.

Jean Moffat, who represents the Trust at the meetings of the SURF steering group, said: “Myself and [acting Trust chairman] Alisdair Johnston were part of a group which went to Govan to meet some of the people involved with SURF there, and the experience was amazing - it blew us away.

“One example was a housing association which bought empty shops and leased them out to community groups for classes in cookery, art, film production and so on.

“It was truly inspiring. We have been given free access to talk to any of the people involved, and I would thoroughly recommend it.”