MSP Connector Programme 2018: Connecting MSPs with Scotland's Towns

Now in its fourth year, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres are encouraging MSPs to take a day during Parliamentary Recess to visit towns in their constituency or region as part of the MSP Connector Programme.

MSPs are welcome to take part by spending a day in their local area, connecting and sharing with local businesses and the community.

We are also seeking interest from town centre managers, community groups, local business organisations and other town stakeholders to host an MSP for the day in their town.

We want to raise the profile of our towns to MSPs and this is an important campaign to celebrate and raise awareness of the opportunities and barriers our towns face. Scotland's cities and small and rural towns and settlements are also welcome to take part.

STP will invite MSPs to take part in a visit and for towns and businesses to host their MSP. The visit may include a walk around, presentation, lunch, work experience or something a little more creative! We are looking for lots of tweets, photos and highlights from the visits to help us raise the profile of Scotland’s towns.

By sharing your experiences with STP, we can disseminate these with the wider towns’ network and add to best practice examples for all to access. You can follow MSP visits including photos and twitter interaction on our MSP Town Connectors live blog

Cross Party Group Convener Invitation

John Scott MSP, Convener of the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres, has encouraged MSPs to get involved in this year’s programme, stating:

“The majority of Scotland’s population lives in towns and smaller settlements. Vibrant towns are key to the prosperity and wellbeing of communities across the country, with each town having its own unique identity and history which should be recognised and celebrated.

I welcome the MSP Connector Programme as a positive initiative to raise the profile of our towns. I encourage MSPs to visit their local towns during the summer recess in order to connect with local communities, to learn about current challenges and successes, and to discover all that our towns and town centres have to offer”.

How to Get Involved

STP along with the Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres are therefore keen to hear about the activity taking place in towns across Scotland and we would be delighted if you’d like to take part.

Join the discussion on Twitter @ScotlandsTowns #MSPTownTime.

For further information or to take part either as an MSP or a host, please register your interest with Rhona Brown via 

To provide us with the necessary information and help with the organisation of your visit, please download our campaign toolkit here.

You can follow MSP visits including photos and twitter interaction on our MSP Town Connectors live blog

more details
DTAS Conference 2018 - “Development Trusts - Driving Positive Change in Communities!”

The Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) Annual Conference for 2018 takes place on Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd of September this year at the Ardoe House Hotel, Aberdeen.Please fill in the form below to book.

Note: Some bursaries are available to help meet the cost of attending the conference. Please contact Aileen at DTAS for a bursary application form.

Visit the conference webpage for more information and to reserve your place. 


Sunday 2nd September: 
Arrive & Register & Check-in (if room available) from 11am onwards

12:15 - 15:30
Visit – Birse Community Trust (packed lunch provided)
12:30 - 15:30
Study Visit – Stonehaven Towns Partnership (packed lunch provided)
13:00 - 14:00
Networking Sandwich Lunch
14:00 - 15:30
Fringe Meeting – Local Democracy Bill: Update & Discussion
15:30 - 16:00
Time to check–in
16:00 - 16:45
DTAS AGM & Annual Review
16:50 - 17:45
Speed Networking (back by popular demand)
17:45 - 18:45
18:45 - 19:30
Drinks Reception Sponsored by: Aberdeenshire Council
19:30 till late
Conference Dinner Sponsored by: The Royal Bank of Scotland

Monday 3rd September:

08:30 - 09:30
Registration & Marketplace (Tea/Coffee)
09:30 - 09:35
Conference Opening Remarks: Sandy Brunton, Chair, DTAS
09:35 - 11:00

Opening Plenary:

Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government & Housing

Development Trust Showcase – 5 Member Stories!

  • Auchinleck Community Development Initiative
  • Linwood Community Development Trust
  • Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust
  • Cranhill Development Trust
  • Sunart Community Company
11:00 - 11:40
Tea/Coffee & Marketplace & Networking
11:45 - 12:45
Seminars/Surgeries - Part 1 (see below for details)
12:50 - 13:50
Lunch & Marketplace
13:55 - 14:55
Seminars/Surgeries - Part 2 (see below for details)
15:00 - 16:00
Seminars - Part 3 (see below for details)
16:00 - 16:30
Tea/Coffee & a Final Chance to Network
more details
Scottish Upcycling Network Forum

Organised by Rags to Riches Social Enterprise, this forum is aimed at people with an interest in upcycling and those who would like to find out more about the practice. The event will feature a number of leading speakers in the field of waste management, upcycling and creative re-use.

We will explore the role of upcycling within the circular economy framework and where the practice fits within policies and legislation.
What are the challenge and barriers that upcyclers face? what opportunities can be created when using waste to produce and manufacture goods? Can we identify gaps which needs to be addressed when working with waste creatively?
This event is free to attend and lunch will be provided along with a showcase of some upcyclers

Speakers will be announced soon. Are you an upcycler? PLease complete our survey to inform our discussions -

Book your free place at Eventbrite

This event is funded by European Social Growth Fund

SUN Forum Flyer



more details
Contemporary Approaches to Sustainability in European Cities

The Academy of Urbanism and University of Dundee are delighted to convene a special event to consider the application of contemporary strategies to make medium-sized cities more sustainable in environmental, socio-economic and cultural terms.

We have invited senior speakers from leading AoU European City Finalists, including Bilbao, Freiburg and Ljubljana together with additional input from Scottish and UK specialists.

Event Format

13.00 Registration and Networking
14.00 Welcome + Introduction
14.10 AoU City Assessments David Rudlin AoU
14.25 International seminar with 5 talks
16.20 Q & A
17.00 Reception
18.30 Close

Delegate Fee

£30.00: General admission
£20.00: Young urbanists/young planners and non University of Dundee matriculated students

If you are booking more than 3 places from one company/institution, please enquire to about our group booking discount.

This event is sponsored by the Scottish Government, RTPI Scotland, STP and JTP, and supported by Architecture & Design Scotland, Urban Design Group, Kevin Murray Associates and RTPI East of Scotland.

Book Now


Principal Sponsor

Sponsored by


Supported by


more details
Herald Property Awards for Scotland 2018

The Herald Property Awards for Scotland honours the achievements of Scotland’s most innovative and successful house builders, developers and registered social landlords.

Since their inception in 2007, the awards have gained the respect and support of the new build industry as a result of the thorough judging process, and the high calibre awards evening which celebrates the winners and nominees in a range of categories.

As publisher of Scotland’s most comprehensive property guide, Scotland’s Homes, The Herald has a unique understanding of the new build market and there is a wide range of categories to ensure that all styles of properties and developments are recognised, from bespoke luxury homes to innovative social housing developments, from practical family homes to sympathetic renovations.

The awards will take place on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow.

For more information on how to enter or attend the awards please contact Kerry Medford on 0141 302 7319 or email

more details
Understanding Scotland's New Planning Act: What do you need to know about the new planning system?

This MacKay Hannah conference discusses the Scottish Government's new Planning Act which is expected to become law by the end of 2018. It will examine how the new legislation changes the way in which development is planned, planning applications are processed, communities are consulted and the planning system is resourced. The conference will consider whether the overall aim of promoting inclusive growth through the delivery of development is achieved and will explain the impact of the new planning laws for the planning system in Scotland.

It will be relevant for anyone involved in the planning process as applicants, regulators, community interest groups, promoters of economic development & growth, and participants in the strategic planning, development & place-making processes.

Read more about this conference on our website, BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE or contact for further information.

Early Bird Booking Discount of 25% in place for limited period of time – delegate rates start from £120  

more details
Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns