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Public Meeting to explore opportunity for Community Development Trust for Thurso and District

9th December 2017

Photograph of Public Meeting to explore opportunity for Community Development Trust for Thurso and District

Over the last year, a growing momentum of change is perceived to be developing. New councillors have been appointed in Thurso and District Ward, Thurso Town Improvements Association have been leading on new events for the area and Pay It Forward Thurso has been recruiting volunteers for community led activities. In addition to this groups in Halkirk, Castletown, Reay and the surrounding areas have been doing fantastic work regenerating village halls, creating play spaces and engaging with their residents and partnership working has increased with the formation of the Caithness Community Partnership.

Joan Lawrie, a UHI Sustainable Development Student and founder of Pay It Forward Thurso based on feedback she was receiving through PIF Thurso took the idea of community led regeneration of Thurso and District to Thurso Ward Councillor Karl Rosie while completing the recent Riverside and Beach clean ups of the area. Ms Lawrie stated, "based on the feedback we were receiving at the clean ups and the discussions taking place it is clear that more people want to be involved and have suggestions for improving the area but just aren't sure on how to take this forward and who should be responsible for it. I discussed this with Cllr Rosie along with opportunities I have identified through the course of my studies and found him to have the same thoughts and ideas to progress further."

Cllr Rosie said, “Community Development Trusts exist throughout Scotland and their numbers are growing. They are involved in differing projects from taking over redundant buildings for community use, renewable energy schemes with profits for community benefit to creating new social enterprises in tourism and other sectors with profits put to community good. It is more possible than ever for communities to take control of their own assets, be responsible for development and create sustainable economies and opportunities in the community. A Community Development Trust for Thurso and District could be the opportunity to enact real and positive change in the area with all members of the community involved and crossing any political or otherwise divides”.

A public meeting has now been arranged for Tuesday 12th December at 7:30pm in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso. The meeting will hear Helen Houston Development Manager for Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust speak on how forming a trust there has led to regeneration of the area including the Falls of Shin Visitor Centre and their newly opened Business Hub. It is hoped from this meeting to generate discussion of development of the area, encourage partnership working but to above all inspire the community to form a steering group to take forward a Community Development Trust for Thurso and District.

All members of the public are welcome to the meeting, Thurso & District encompasses the Thurso Council Ward so members of the public from Reay, Halkirk, Castletown, Dunnet and surrounding areas and of course Thurso itself are encouraged to attend.

More information on Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust can be found here:
http://www.kyleofsutherlanddevelopmenttrust.org/

More information on Development Trusts in Scotland Can be found here:
http://www.dtascot.org.uk

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