Action plan to focus on design

A LOCAL authority has announced plans to support construction of 5,000 new homes over the next decade, attract a major visitor attraction and provide opportunities for the health sector.

The proposals are detailed in West Dunbartonshire Council’s Economic Development Strategy for 2013-2016, which maps out how the local authority will make a difference to the community, businesses and the wider area. The blueprint will be realised through co-ordinated action from the private and public sectors and takes into account the current economic climate.
Councillor David McBride, convener of economic development, said: “While public sector budgets are reducing and investment form the private sector continues to be a challenge, we remain optimistic that West Dunbartonshire can play its part in Scotland’s economic recovery.
“In response to this, we have refreshed our Economic Development Strategy to reflect both the economic climate and changes within local and national policy, such as welfare reform. West Dunbartonshire has committed itself to the Jobs Investment Growth Framework, with the aim of delivering 1,000 jobs and training opportunities as one key project.”
Vice convener Councillor Lawrence O’Neill added: “The council and its partners have a good track record in attracting external funding for economic development and regeneration projects. In the current climate it is essential that we continue to explore all available opportunities to attract additional external funding.”
Elsewhere, consultations have begun to seek the views of businesses, residents and visitors on how to develop three North Lanarkshire town centres.
The exercise will help inform proposals work to develop a town centre framework and action plan for Airdrie, Bellshill and Kilsyth which will guide their change and management over the next five to 10 years.
The action plans will tackle issues including the design quality of the towns and their public spaces, accessibility and circulation, development and diversification opportunities, as well as management, business support, marketing and promotion.
“Our town centres are vital to the well-being of local communities and the economy, so we want to give them a bright future,” said Councillor James Coyle, convener of the planning and transportation committee. “To help us achieve that, we need the views of the people who use our town centres.”