A new initiative aimed at breathing fresh life into unused spaces in Argyll and Bute’s main towns received its Rothesay launch this week.
The ‘Stalled Spaces’ project provides a small pot of grant funding to which community groups can apply to turn derelict or neglected spaces into temporary community assets such as outdoor gyms, arts and events spaces, ‘pop-up’ gardens, growing spaces and outdoor learning or natural play areas.
The Rothesay launch saw a meeting at the Pavilion followed by a walk around the town, with visits to some of the spaces in the town centre which could be eligible for support, including the space on the south-west side of the Gallowgate and the area on the corner of Castle Street and Watergate, next door to Achievement Bute’s studios.
Similar meetings have been or will be held in Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban and Dunoon.
Many of these sites may have plans for future development, but this can be often be years away, and Argyll and Bute Council is administering small grants of up to £2,500, funded through Architecture and Design Scotland, to help properly constituted community groups enhance vacant or derelict land within their town centres.
Head of Economic Development at Argyll and Bute Council, Fergus Murray, said of the project: “This is a great scheme which will help community groups realise their aspirations, accessing extra funding which can help them turn vacant sites into key community assets. These could include outdoor gyms, exhibition spaces, pop-up parks, urban beaches and growing spaces.
“In particular the council is looking to support growing, healthy living and youth activity. Hopefully applications come in with ideas for physical or complementary health benefits as well as the themes of outdoor learning and natural play.
For anyone who missed the Rothesay launch event, more information is available from the council’s project manager Lorna Pearce at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01700 501374.