Town Toolkit | Resources
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Architecture and Design Scotland has produced a Stalled Spaces Toolkit with practical advice and inspiration for communities who wish to make temporary use of vacant and derelict land for anthing from community gardens to events spaces. The toolkit covers how to find out who owns land, how to get funding, how to organise yourselves, and how to manage a project. Contact details:

Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland provides a comprehensive online toolkit about how to save endangered historic buildings, together with detailed information about individual historic buildings at risk throughout the country.

Built Environment Forum Scotland offers a range of case studies, fundraising toolkit, briefings, advocacy toolkit and other useful information particularly related to the historic environment.

Grand Bequest is a Scottish buildings-at-risk resource based in Glasgow.

Historic Environment Scotland has various sources of grant funding and advice to support the re-use or enhancement of vacant and historic buildings in town centres, as this example from Campbeltown shows. Their YouTube channel has inspiring and informative videos.

Heritage Trust Network brings together heritage professionals and enthusiasts to tackle buildings at risk. The network has over 90 member organisations in Scotland and 500 across the UK, all of whom are rescuing and regenerating buildings and are keen to support each other.

Local authority planning departments may be able to offer expert advice and possibly funding to help tackle vacant or derelict sites and buildings; what is available differs between local authorities around the country. Whilst responsibility for maintenance of any building rests with its owner, local authorities also have discretion to use certain powers:

  • Dangerous or defective buildings: Building (Scotland) Act 2003, sections 28-30.
  • Listed Buildings: Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997, section 49 onwards.
  • Sub-standard housing: Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.
  • Condition of land: Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, section 179.
  • Building repairs and maintenance of private open space: Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982.
  • Power to advance well-being: Local Government In Scotland Act 2003.
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Local authorities also have the powers to:

  • Use the Town Centre First Principle to deliver public services and capital investments, driving up town centre footfall and investment activity and encouraging other landowners to follow suit (see the Dumbarton and Kilmarnock examples in this section).
  • Create a one-stop shop or key council contact for town centre businesses, for example helping them to navigate through statutory consents like planning, building control and environmental protection requirements (for example West Lothian Council’s network of town centre officers).
  • Use collaborative town centre visioning and community engagement to set the agenda for Local Development Plans to help to deliver a common community vision, with many examples from Annan to Stromness.
  • Develop strategies for re-populating town centres with residential use, such as in Perth (in this section) and Alloa (see Streets and Spaces).

National Lottery Heritage Fund is a major funder of heritage projects throughout the UK; its website contains a range of interesting case studies.

Scotland's Land Information Services is an easy-to-use Scottish Government website which enables you to find property owners, check if a property is on the land register, search for property prices and buy property documents.

Scottish Land Commission provides information on funding for vacant and derelict land projects and community ownership of land or buildings, plus other information about re-use of derelict or vacant buildings and land. It is all part of the commission’s approach to making more of Scotland’s land. Their Impact Tool is a simple-to-use way for local communities to assess and record the impact of vacant and derelict land on the community's wellbeing.

Under One Roof: an online resource full of useful information about maintenance and management of tenements, flats and other common property (old and new) for owners, tenants and advisers.

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