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The importance of Kilmarnock town centre to the economic well-being of East Ayrshire cannot be underestimated, the centre comprising, as it does, the prime commercial, cultural, entertainment and retail heart of the area.

The creation of an effective and practical Strategy for Kilmarnock Town Centre to identify priorities for co-ordinated action and to safeguard and improve all of the various functions that the town centre provides is considered highly appropriate at this time.

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Written by Gillian Daly, Scottish Library and Information Council

Scotland’s public library network of over 500 branches spans the length and breadth of the country, offering opportunities for all in the heart of our communities. Far from the dusty perception of libraries that still lingers in the popular imagination, today’s libraries are vibrant community hubs which have evolved in response to changing user needs.

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This report by BEFS Chairman, Professor Emeritus Cliff Hague, is based on a visit to Stornoway in April 2013 as part of BEFS’ Small Towns Initiative.

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The Scottish Government, Architecture and Design Scotland and NHS Health Scotland have been working in partnership to develop the  Place Standard tool to support the delivery of high quality public places, which can help to reduce health inequalities. The tool will support communities and the public and private sectors to work together to deliver high quality, sustainable places.

To help ensure that the tool is accessible to community groups and meets their needs, the Carnegie UK Trust piloted the tool with three of the winners of the Carnegie Prize for Design and Wellbeing during the tool’s testing phase.

Update: you can view all case studies of the Place Standard tool at Architecture & Design Scotland's dedicated webpage here

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Keep Scotland Beautiful Environmental Excellence Award

The National Award for Environmental Excellence provides an independent audit, assessment and accreditation process as part of your organisation’s journey to improving local environmental quality.

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The Town Centre Action Plan (November 2014) sets out various actions  to bring a focus on town centres. One of its themes is Proactive Planning  and seeking simple, encouraging and pro-active planning policy  to support vibrant town centres. The Scottish Government  committed in the Action Plan, that we would “identify  pilots with interested planning authorities who wish to  consider collaboration and test approaches which could  help simplify planning processes in town centres

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This is case study is about an award winning project which delivered £90million of investment in new homes and business spaces as well as restoring historic buildings and the public realm. It explores the benefits these investments, in the town centre, offered the local businesses.

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This is the first town centre SPZ in Scotland. It is an Innovative approach to streamlining and simplifying the  planning process saving time, money and effort for developers and investors, supporting existing businesses and attracting new jobs, encouraging a mix of uses and town centre living.

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This Case Study shares the experience of  Hamilton BID, Ready Steady Gallop! –  an original town sculpture trail and marketing and media programme. It explains what was done and shows how innovate projects like this can be used to increase footfall, and direct people to part of the town they might not otherwise visit  and promote town centre businesses.

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The How To Guide demonstrates how to take placemaking principles set out in the Town Centre Toolkit and apply them to a particular place and come up with a framework and ideas for that town.

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