Putting the wheels in motion
The process to revitalise Hamilton town centre was triggered by a special Advertiser investigation into the number of empty shop units.
We revealed early in 2016 that a staggering 45 premises were lying vacant.
In the face of fears that the area was becoming a“ghost town”, local politicians Angela Crawley and Christina Mckelvie started work on the Our Town, Your Voice report.
The subsequent Hamilton Town Centre Strategy and Action Plan contained a raft of ambitious proposals, such as the reopening of Quarry Street to traffic, extending the streetscape area around Campbell Street and creating an “iconic gateway building”at the Hamilton Towers site.
It also outlined plans to bring vacant ground back into use, and pledged to review the parking system within the town centre.
Other plans to improve events and marketing included trial initiatives such as a craft-maker emporium, teenage market and pop-up events.
Ms Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East, and Ms Mckelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, said proposals had “potential to be transformative”. Advertiser editor Robert Mitchell said:“as the local newspaper, we always aim to promote and support the town centre, and we are glad our special investigation was the catalyst for change.
“The report is certainly ambitious and it’s encouraging to see the public engaging at each step of the process.
“The results of the public consultation certainly brought some interesting points to the table, and we look forward to some of the proposals coming to fruition.”
Politicians Angela Crawley MP and Christina Mckelvie MSP helped spearhead the plan