Browse Resources:

Essential Reading

Welcome to the Towns Library, please feel free to browse the headline titles below from supporting organisations.  If you feel that your organisation can add to the library, please contact us for STP’s consideration. Please also see a list of key 'Knowledge Partners' on towns at the bottom of this page. 


Aberdeenshire Council

Regeneration in Aberdeenshire

Architecture & Design Scotland

Town Centre Living: A Caring Place Report (2019)

Case Study: Place Standard and its use in Alloa by Clackmannanshire Council (2020)

Association of Town and City Management (ATCM)

Implications of Brexit for Town & City Centres Across the UK & ROI

Releasing the Social Business Economy (July 2020) [Learnings from Purple Flag for the post-COVID landscape]


Brighter Futures Report: A Brighter Future for our Towns and Cities

Built Environment Forum Scotland 

Historic Environment Policy for Scotland – A Summary (2019)

Carnegie Trust UK

COVID-19 and Communities Listening Project: A Shared Response (2020)

Digital Participation And Social Justice In Scotland

Journeys of Understanding: Domestic twinning as an approach to improving town capacity and wellbeing (2019)

New Powers, New Deals: Remaking British Towns after Brexit (2018)

Places that Love People

Public views on the enabling state – Report Summary

Turnaround Towns UK (2019)

Carplus Scotland 

Annual Survey on Impact of Car Clubs in Scotland


Shared Transport Case Studies

CEIS et al

Building a New Economy: Scotland's Vision for Social Enterprise 2025

Community Development Alliance Scotland 

 How Community Development Happens - Why Stronger Communities Matter

Special Bulletin on 'Place' and Community Development (March 2019)

Community Ownership Support Service (DTAS)

Managing Risk in Community Asset Transfer (December 2020)

CSPP (Centre for Scottish Public Policy)

Creating Confidence & Changing Futures in Scotland's Towns

Town Centre Regeneration: How Does it Work & What can be Achieved?

How to Prepare a Strategy for your Town

Department for Communities and Local Government

Smart Places Today 2015

Destination Digital Ltd

Cupar Now Digital Improvement District: Case Study, Toolkit & Programme Update (August 2020)


‘Creating Better Towns’ Aide-Memoire (2019)

Creating Better Leaders Aide-Memoire (2019)

Economic and Social Research Council

British High Streets:from Crisis to Recovery?

Federation of Small Businesses (Scotland)

Transforming Towns: Delivering a Sustainable Future for Local Places (August 2019)

Great British High Street

The Digital High Street 2020 Report

Grimsey, B. et al

Grimsey Review COVID-19 Supplement Report: Build Back Better (June 2020)

GVA James Barr

Scottish Town Centres and Retail Trends

Heritage Council Ireland 

Strengthening Ireland-Scotland Collaboration on Town Centres (Workshop Report - December 2019)

High Streets Task Force 

High Streets Task Force Resource Library 

Inspiring Scotland

The Practices, Impact and Implications of Inspiring Scotland’s First Five Years

Keep Scotland Beautiful 

Report: Time for a New Approach to Tackling Litter (December 2020)

Kevin Murray Associates, University of Dundee, Scottish Government

Shaping Better Places Report

The report 'Shaping better places together' marks a first attempt to investigate the role and significance of facilitators in participatory community design processes and aims to enhance the output performance of this increasingly common type of design event.

Local Data Company and Institute of Retail Studies, University of Stirling

2015 Scottish Retail Report: Retailing in Scotland's Largest Towns & Cities

2016 Scottish Retail Report: Retailing in Scotland's Largest Towns & Cities

2017 Scottish Retail Report: Retailing in Scotland's Largest Towns & Cities

National Library of Scotland 

E-resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NHS England 

Healthy Towns Programme: Executive Summary and Learning Principles (September 2019)

Read also: Creating Healthy Places: Perspectives from NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme (King's Fund, September 2019).

NHS Health Scotland

Places and communities that support and promote good health

Industrial Communities Alliance 

Places with Purpose: The Future of Industrial Cities, Towns and Communities (2018)

Planning Review Panel

Empowering Planning to Deliver Great Places

Resilient Scotland

Case Studies

Stepwell: Reinvesting in Inverclyde

UCAN: Learn, Work, Live

RFM - Retail Factsheets

Maximising Revenue Opportunity

Sales and Marketing Plans for Small Retailers

RTPI Scotland 

"Poverty, Places and Equality: A role for place based approaches?" - Lecture by Naomi Eisenstadt, Independent Advisor to the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality on Wednesday 7 June 2017 in The Lighthouse, Glasgow. 

SCDI - Scottish Council for Development and Industry

Rural Commission Report: An Economy for All of Scotland (September 2019)

Scotland's Towns Partnership & Related

Sparks, L. (2019). Towns and Town Centres in Scotland: Reflections Six Years on from Fraser 

Sparks, L. (2016). From the Scottish Government’s National Review of Town Centres to the World Towns Summit 

Briefing: STP and the Towns Policy Agenda in Scotland

Scotland's Towns Partnership Digital Towns Guidance

Manifesto Statement for Towns

Understanding Scottish Places: An Introduction

The Future of Shopping Centres in Scotand's Towns [Revo, STP and DWF LLP] (March 2019)

Submission to the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland (May 2019)

Scotland's Towns Partnership Event Reports (links to Wakelet)


Scottish Government

Core Policy Documents

A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres (2021) [Independent Report - Town Centre Action Plan Expert Review Group]

The Place Principle: An Introduction (2019)

Town Centre Action Plan - Two Years On

Town Centre Action Plan - One Year On

Town Centre Planning Pilots Programme - Case Studies and How To Guides

National Review of Town Centres: External Advisory Group Report (2013) (Fraser Review)

Further Reading

Creating Places: A Policy Statement for Architecture and Place for Scotland
Review of Planning: Scottish Government Response

Realising Scotland's full potential in a digital world: a digital strategy for Scotland (2017)

Review of the community-led regeneration approach as delivered via the People and Communities Fund (2017)


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on safer public spaces - urban centres and green spaces (June 2020)

Scottish Health and Inequalities Impact Assessment Network 

In lieu with Spatial Planning for Health and Wellbeing Collaborative Group 

Argyll and Bute Indicative Regional Spatial Strategy: A 20 Minute Neighbourhood Rapid Scoping Assessment 

Ardrossan North Shore Development Framework: A 20 Minute Neighbourhood Rapid Scoping Assessment 

Comparing the 20 Minute Neighbourhood and Traditional Scenarios in Edinburgh Local Development Plan: a Rapid Scoping Assessment 

Scottish Land Commission

Transforming Scotland’s Approach to Vacant and Derelict Land: Recommendations from the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce (October 2020)

2020 final reports by Biggar Economics to inform guidance that would provide a framework for measuring the wider benefits of land re-use:

Vacant and Derelict Land Task Force - Phase 1 Report (Ryden, June 2019)

Scottish Small Area Statistics

Scottish Small Area Statistics

Scottish Retail Consortium

Retail Pay and Benefits: January 2017 Briefing

Scottish Retail Sales Monitor

Scottish Small Towns Group

Scottish Small Towns Report (2007 – 2013)

Social Renewal Advisory Board 

If Not Now, When? - Social Renewal Advisory Board Report (January 2021)

SURF - Scotland's Regeration Forum 

SURF Cross Sector Connector- Shared Learning Report (Feb 2021)

Showcasing Community Resilience Series (2020)

A series of special SURF e-bulletins showcasing positive examples written by organisations delivering services or providing support to communities across Scotland, whilst the country navigated through the Covid crisis.

Covid-19: Lessons from the Frontline (2020)

Covid-19: Building Community Resilience (2020)

Sustrans Scotland 

Community Links Portfolio

The Good Economy

Business-led Inclusive Growth in the South of Scotland (July 2019)

The Stove Network

Embers - Creative Placemaking For the South of Scotland

Threesixty Architecture 

A Vision for High Street Regeneration (October 2019, Final Version May 2020)

Town Centre Action Plan Expert Review Group 

A New Future for Scotland's Town Centres (2021)

Transform Scotland

Overview of National Transport Strategy Debate

Urban Transport Group 

About Towns: How Transport Can Help Towns Thrive (Nov 2018)

Urban Economy Forum 

Urban Economy Forum 2020 Resolution (October 2020)

Visit Scotland

Visitor Research & Tourism Statistics

What Works Scotland

Transforming communities? Exploring the roles of community anchor organisations in public service reform, local democracy, community resilience and social change


Knowledge Partners

Scottish Library and Information Council

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government on library and information services.

Institute for Retail Studies at the University of Stirling

The Institute for Retail Studies at the University of Stirling is a leading academic centre for retail research and education, providing independent, academic and practical research as well as commentary on retail matters of the day.

ATCM (Association of Town and City Management)

The Association of Town and City Management is the largest town and city membership organisation in Europe. They have a number of valuable reports, support programmes, events, guides and toolkits, some of which are free and open access. 

ALISS (A Local Information System for Scotland)

ALISS (A Local Information System for Scotland) is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) to help people find and share information about services and community assets that support health and wellbeing. ALISS enables citizens and communities to work collaboratively with organisations and professionals, to gather, add, manage and share information about the assets that exist in their own local areas in order to help others find support more easily. To search for support in your community or to get involved, visit

Read more about the ALISS Programme: 

FSB (Federation of Small Business)

Our towns are made up primarily of small businesses and the Federation is the key membership and lobbying body. FSB works closely with STP and has valuable research and reports.

Kantar Worldpanel

Kantar Worldpanel provide leading consumer panel and shopper insight information as well as trend data and marketing reporting and analysis.

The Local Data Company

The Local Data Company is a leading retail location data insight provider. They provide detailed reports on openings and closures, vacancy data and provide gap analysis amongst a host of other valuable services.

Scottish Retail Consortium

The Scottish Retail Consortium is the trade association for the retail sector. In partnership with KMPG they produce the Scottish Retail Sales Monitor. SRC lobby on behalf of Scottish retailers and provide valuable economic evidence and key facts.


Springboard offer retail intelligence and insight. They also have milestone and benchmarking along with a host of valuable data gathering services, reporting and analysis.

Sponsored by Supporting Scotland's Towns
Sponsored By Supporting Scotland's Towns