The Haddington Town Centre Vision project is a good example of people working together for the good of their town. It is the result of cooperation between four local community groups – Haddington Community Council, Haddington and District Amenity Society, Haddington Business Association and Haddington’s History Society.
In 2011, these groups came together through a shared interest in the long term health of the town centre; Knox Academy subsequently joined the Vision team too. They agreed to promote the Vision project, and the Community Council provided the first part of the funding. The remaining financial support came from East Lothian Council and the people of the Haddington area.
The Vision focuses on long term, ‘big picture’ thinking, driven by an intensive community engagement programme. Its basic purpose is to create the conditions for a busy and thriving town centre economy by setting out principles to guide change in the town centre over a decade or more. Five themes are identified :
– East Lothian’s Hub : rebuilding Haddington’s role as a ‘county town’; – Telling the Story : bringing the town’s history and culture to life; – A Special Place : rediscovering Haddington’s identity and character; – A creative and enterprising future : encouraging innovation and supporting young people; – Collective Responsibility : collaboration and partnership to drive change.
The Vision then proposes eight Key Actions aimed at fulfilling it’s over-arching aim :
To animate Haddington Town Centre, generate more activity and increase footfall
The Vision does not prescribe details of individual projects. There will still be a need for a strategy and an action plan, and more detailed work on issues as varied as traffic and marketing. Responsibility for devising individual projects will lie with a new community development trust, local groups and businesses, East Lothian Council and the people of Haddington – with the Vision providing a framework for change.
Update October 2014 ; The Haddington Community Development Trust is now well established and is taking forward the Vision through various local projects and initiitives.
Project Team :