A significant public realm development has been hailed as a fantastic example of the difference that Business Improvement Districts can make to their community.
Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and National Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, says work underway in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire, shows the important part town centres will play in the nation’s Covid-19 recovery.
It will see £430,000 invested in the town to ensure it remains a popular destination for people of all ages and abilities.
Milngavie Business Improvement District is working with Page\Park Architects on a series of interlinked projects on Douglas Street, near the start of the West Highland Way.
These projects, encompassing street furniture, wayfinding, and interpretation, will improve and enhance the public realm of Milngavie Town Centre – and are starting to take shape.
A new feedback survey has also been launched to allow local residents to provide information about how they use Milngavie Precinct.
Praising the work, Mr Prentice said: “Milngavie’s exciting public realm development is a fantastic example of the difference a town’s Business Improvement District can make, especially when working in collaboration with other local partners.
“This project will improve the town centre for residents and visitors, encourage active travel, and boost the local economy. It will also further cement Milngavie’s reputation as one of Scotland’s premier walking and cycling hubs.
“This initiative is a great example of how town centres will play a key role in Scotland’s post-COVID recovery”.
Throughout the year, more than 40,000 walkers from around the world converge on Milngavie to embark on the 96-mile route to Fort William.
However, the West Highland Way is only one of a number of trails to and from the town. Together, these have earned Milngavie its reputation as a hub for walking and cycling.
The phase one artwork installation has breathed new life into the starting point of the West Highland Way, at a cost of £60,000.
The next phase builds on the community engagement and design identity established in the previous phase, to share information about the town and its history, about other walks, and to provide key navigational information that will make these more accessible to a greater number of people.
Phase two is themed around the amazing walking and cycling opportunities in the locale and beyond, made possible with £340,000 of funding from East Dunbartonshire Council.
These proposals have been through an engagement process and have received the support of local authorities, businesses, and residents. They represent a vision for the town centre as a destination for people of all ages, nationalities, and abilities, and as an attractive home for locals and businesses.
The BID also commissioned artwork of the West Highland Way route to be created in a town centre underpass. This to-scale artwork by Artpistol projects represented an investment in excess of £10,000 by local businesses in Milngavie.
In addition, the BID team developed an integrated digital marketing and offline strategy by investing over £20,000 in a range of seasonal display banners throughout Milngavie, as well as the Milngavie.co.uk website and social media channels, with a focus on Milngavie as an ideal location to embark on many walking and cycling routes in Dunbartonshire.
Architects at Page\Park are also conducting a further feedback survey for local people to provide information about how they use the Milngavie Precinct. You can get involved by visiting https://survey.typeform.com/to/i7vWGhog before 7th May.
Milngavie BID Manager Tony I’Anson said: “It has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone, but hopefully there are better times in sight. The improvements in Milngavie will help to ensure it remains a popular destination for people of all ages, nationalities and abilities, and an attractive home for residents and businesses.
“I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes and fill out the survey on Milngavie Precinct. It will help to shape future improvements – ensuring they meet the needs of local residents and businesses.”
Thomas Glen, the Council’s Depute Chief Executive – Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, added: “We are pleased to continue supporting the important work of Milngavie BID, which is helping to ensure that the town centre has a bright future ahead. Well done to all involved.”
For more information, about the range of project and services that Milngavie BID are delivering through their five year business plan, see www.milngaviebid.com
Image: Milngavie, PagePark Architects (inset: Phil Prentice, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Scotland’s Improvement Districts).