Carnegie UK The First Charity To Sign ‘Town Centre First Principle’

July 12, 2016

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The Carnegie UK Trust has become the first charitable organisation to sign up to the Scottish Government and COSLA Town Centre First Principle.

The Dunfermline-based philanthropic foundation signed the Principle during a visit to Andrew Carnegie’s Dunfermline birthplace by Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government & Housing.

The Principle, jointly developed by Scottish Government and COSLA, calls on signatories to make decisions that add to the vibrancy of town centres.  The voluntary code is about encouraging open and transparent decision working that takes account of medium to longer term impacts on town centres and the communities they serve.

At the signing of the Principle in historic Pittencrieff Park, Carnegie UK Chief Executive Martyn Evans said:

“Carnegie UK works to promote wellbeing in town communities across the country. In recent years our TestTown programme has helped young entrepreneurs set up businesses in towns, our leadership on Understanding Scottish Places has helped build the UK’s first open data platform for towns, and our research on Pride in Place has demonstrated the link between individual wellbeing and high quality public space.

Signing the Principle in the Tiffany room, Andrew Carnegie House.
Signing the Principle in the Tiffany room, Andrew Carnegie House.

The Trust understands that helping towns to be more innovative, to focus on strong local leadership and community engagement, and to use good evidence in decision making are all key factors of reversing the decline some of them have faced over the last decade. That’s why we have committed to our five year “Flourishing Towns’ programme of investment and work through to 2020.

We are delighted to sign up to the Principle and become the first organisation from our sector to do so.”

Kevin Stewart MSP added: “We want to see towns across Scotland flourish, providing a base for people to live, work, socialise and do business.

“The Town Centre First Principle is about promoting investment and improving town centres by encouraging businesses and charities like Carnegie UK to take a joint approach to planning, delivering services and supporting towns.  That means committing to continuing their Flourish Towns programme until 2020, giving local businesses support and investment.

“I’m delighted Carnegie UK is pledging to support local communities by signing up to the Principle.”

Cllr Stephen Hagan, COSLA Spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, said: “I am pleased that our partners at Carnegie UK have taken the decision to sign up to the Town Centre First Principle jointly developed by COSLA and Scottish Government.

“This commitment highlights that town centre regeneration remains a priority not just for local authorities and Scottish Government, but also for other partners and stakeholders such as Carnegie UK with an interest in town centres and wider regeneration activity across Scotland.

“Given the importance of town centres to local communities across Scotland, we hope that the Town Centre First Principle is the first step in helping to ensure the viability of Scotland’s town centres going forward, and that other partners will now also consider adopting the principle.”

During Kevin Stewart’s visit to Dunfermline, the minister also visited Miss Pauley’s shop in Dunfermline town centre, run by local entrepreneur and TestTown 2013 national champion Emma Pauley; and the recently redeveloped Fire Station Creative workshops and gallery facility on Pittencrieff Street.

Emma Pauley of Miss Pauley's welcomes the Minister to her shop
Emma Pauley of Miss Pauley’s welcomes the Minister to her shop.
Visiting Ian Moir, Director at Fire Station Creative.
Visiting Ian Moir, Director at Fire Station Creative.