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Understanding Scottish Places (USP) has been developed by a consortium involving Scotland's Towns Partnership, Carnegie UK Trust, the University of Stirling and the Centre for Local Economic Strategies. The project has been funded by the Scottish Government and Carnegie UK Trust.

Understanding Scottish Places is an online platform for towns' practitioners and communities. It is designed to help us better understand the function of the towns that we live and work in and provides the opportunity to compare and contrast towns across Scotland.

USP combines a typology of Scottish towns and an assessment of inter-relationships to find towns from across Scotland which share socio-demographic characteristics and score similarly on an independence to dependence scale. It also houses a tool designed to help users gather locally available information about towns to complement the national data presented within USP.

Visit Understanding Scottish Places 

About the USP Audit:

The USP Audit has been developed to complement the national data available about your town through the Understanding Scottish Places data platform. Created by STP and EKOS, it offers a simple way of capturing locally available data on towns. The USP Audit Manual guides you through the process of gathering a range of 50 relevant indicators across 7 KPI themes:

1. Locality Data
2. Accessibility
3. Local Services
4. Activity/Events
5. Development Capacity
6. Tourism and Visitor Profile
7. Place/Quality Impression

These can be collated on the USP Audit Template which is also provided on the USP site. By collating this data in one place, you can draw analysis and easily compare results year on year. USP Audits can also be used to compare with other towns in your region and nationally.

We hope that over time USP Audits will be gathered, shared and visualised as part of the Understanding Scottish Places website, enabling easy comparison. For the time being, there are several USP Audit case studies available for you to view on the site – these are also cited below.

About the USP Your Town Audit:

The STP Add-On to your Understanding Scottish Places (USP) report is a comprehensive study which builds upon the USP output to give the town a much wider appreciation and understanding of its role, function and performance. Importantly a user manual will be included to allow participants to undertake their own future audits.  

USP Your Town Audit is the standard benchmark for measuring the health of a Scottish Town. It is designed to be the next step after practitioners have analysed their town using tools such as USP (Understanding Scottish Places) or the Place Standard.

Developed after wide consultation and collaboration, it captures the relevant KPI's to ensure you can develop a comprehensive benchmark and baseline.

The audit, prepared by socio-economic development professionals from EKOS and STP, will use a combination of data gathered through local place audits, business surveys, stakeholder consultations and official government sources.

“The audit process and outcomes have been praised by everyone who has seen them so far, your product deserves promotion!” Neale McIlvanney, Strategic Planning Manager, North Ayrshire Council

For more information please contact Ewan Robertson

You can read a concise article about USP YTAs in the March 2017 edition of RTPI's Scottish Planner Magazine here (page 9)


Your Town Audit Case Studies:

Alexandria (PDF)

Alloa (PDF)

Ardrossan (PDF)

Ayr (PDF)

Barrhead (PDF)

Beith (PDF)

Blantyre (PDF)

Busby (PDF)

Cambuslang (PDF)

Clarkston (PDF)

Dalry (PDF)

Dumbarton (PDF)

Eaglesham (PDF)

Eyemouth (PDF)

Giffnock (PDF)

Hamilton (PDF)

Helensburgh (PDF)

Irvine (PDF)

Kilbirnie (PDF)

Kilwinning (PDF)

Largs (PDF)

Larkhall (PDF)

Millport (PDF)

Moffat (PDF)

Neilston (PDF)

Newton Mearns (PDF)

Saltcoats (PDF)

Stevenston (PDF)

Stornoway (PDF)

Thornliebank (PDF)

West Kilbride (PDF)

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