Putting the wheels in mo­tion

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS - Ste­fanie Mc­court

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

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