This past Friday (9 May 2014), the Kirkconnel and Kellholm community action plan was launched at the Kirkconnel Miners Memorial Hall.
The five year action plan was prepared by a local steering group in partnership with Coalfields Community Futures. The local community was heavily consulted over a 5 month period with 208 surveys returned, 20 stakeholder meetings and interviews as well as 200 people attending community future events. The Action Plan is a five year strategy on how the local community can work with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) Coalfields Community Futures Programme to improve the local area. Within the plan there are a number of goals including providing more activities for local youngsters, improve access to broadband and provide local access to further education and training. The CRT has already provided start-up funds to get a number of the aspects of the plan underway.
Mid and Upper Nithsdale Councillor John Syme, a member of the steering group, chaired the launch.
On the launch, Councillor Syme said:
“I am delighted that so many local people could be there for the launch of the action plan. We had a number of local groups represented which is only right considering how much input they had in the plan itself.”
On the Action Plan, Councillor Syme said:
“It is ambitious programme for the next five years but I believe it is truly achievable. There are several important issues in the plan including the need for sheltered housing for the elderly. This is an issue that I feel passionately about and I hope that by working with partners we can give the elderly population of Kirkconnel and Kelloholm this much needed resource.
That so many local people got involved in the consultation process shows that this plan has the community behind it. However, it will also require the support of a wide range of partners. Going forward, we will be setting up a number of small Action Groups to lead on each aspect of this. This means that local people can get involved in the projects closets to their hearts. I would ask any local people who want to get involved in improving Kirkconnel and Kellholm to please get in touch.”
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray, who attended the event, added:
“The launch was well attended and very positive with everyone very excited about the proposals in the action plan. Now they need to be taken forward. I believe John and the steering group have the passion and drive to achieve them all.”