Infrastructure, Development and Place
The Scottish Government recognises the importance of securing the future of town centres. The relationship between economic development and regeneration is co-dependent; equitable economic growth cannot be delivered without improving our under-performing areas, and successful regeneration cannot be delivered without investing in development, growing our local economies and delivering sustainable employment. The Scottish Government will continue to work with local authorities to support local economic development activity in order to encourage town centre growth.
Town centres are a key element of the economic and social fabric of Scotland and can be a central component of successful local economies and offer a base for small businesses and jobs. Town centres are often at the core of community life, offering spaces to meet and interact with access to facilities and services that people require. It is important that town centres are functioning, well-maintained assets that develop to support the needs of their residents, businesses and visitors. The Scottish Government will continue engagement with key partners to help understand how their strategic initiatives may assist in development of plans and help revitalise and realise the potential of Scotland's town centres. We will continue to work with the External Advisory Group members and work more closely with networks of town centre managers when developing this plan.
As set out in the Government Economic Strategy, our approach to place is built upon a strategy that recognises the unique contribution - based on their own distinct characteristics and strengths - that every part of Scotland can make. Scotland's cities, towns, rural areas and islands each play a role in driving forward economic growth. Our Agenda for Cities sets out how we will work with our cities and their regions to support more effective collaboration and optimise their contribution to Scotland. This action plan recognises that town centres require a similar focus, that there is a need to bring new, emerging and existing policies and strategies together to reflect the changing scope of our town centres. This plan is intended to complement the economic activity already underway in order to establish a new focus and narrative fit for a modern day town centre. We want all of Scotland to flourish and our support for town centres is complementary to our ambitions for our cities, rural areas and islands.