Two plans under one roof to make Forth better place

Parts of Forth and district have already been made attractive, such as at the Wilsontown ironworks.
Parts of Forth and district have already been made attractive, such as at the Wilsontown ironworks.

Villagers in Forth are being asked to vote tomorrow (Saturday) on whether they want a development trust - and they can also find out what can be done to create attractive green spaces in the village.

They are invited along to Bank Hall this Saturday, November 14, from 10am to 3pm to find out the advantages a trust could bring.

Members of Carluke Development Trust and WAT IF, which covers Woolfords, Tarbrax and Auchengray, will be there to talk about their work and their ability to secure funding.

Volunteer Isabel Gray, a Coalfield Community Futures Ambassador, said that Forth would qualify for funding from windfarms,from forestry and from Levenseat Recycling,

She said: “These all have funds for community use. These funds have actually been in place for some time and we have not taken advantage of them.”

A development trust could look at community projects and direct funds from these sources.

Isabel said: “There is a lot available if we go down the route of a development trust. From a funding point of view it is better to have a central point rather than small pockets of people.”

Isabel was part of the Coalfields Community Futures Steering Group which recently produced an action plan for the village.

Their survey included the views of 133 pupils at Forth Primary. Like the adults, their priorities included improving facilities and the environment. Aims for the future in the action plan include reducing dog fouling, litter and fly tipping; improving the Main Street; improving path networks; looking at ways of developing the White House, improving the bowling club building and football club changing facilities; and carrying out a feasibility study for a new skatepark. On safety, there are calls for better street lighting, for traffic calming and better bus links.

*Bank Hall is also hosting an event by Greenspace Scotland from noon to 3pm on Saturday, looking at turning “problem” areas into attractive spaces.

This is the first step in taking forward the environmental and local ‘quality of place’ actions from the Action Plan.

“We will be looking at a number of current problem sites around Forth - those which are attracting litter, fly tipping and anti-social behaviour - and at some existing spaces which are under-performing in terms of meeting the needs of the people who live and work in Forth,” said Deryck Irving, Programme Manager with Greenspace Scotland.

“Our hope is that, working with local people and with the existing community groups in Forth, we can turn these spaces into positive places for people.

“They might become community gardens or new public spaces where people feel comfortable and welcome.

“Some of the projects may be temporary at first to allow people to test out their ideas before moving on to more long-term changes.

“Some ideas have already begun to emerge from our early discussions but we want to involve as many people as possible on the 14th to get the widest range of views and ideas.

“If people live or work in Forth (or if they visit friends or relatives in the village) we would love to hear from them.

“This ‘placemaking’ part of the event will run from 1-3pm. We will go out and look at the places where improvements could be made (even if its raining!) and then spend some time working together to develop ideas for the ways in which the environment in Forth could be improved.”

This greenspace scotland work is funded by Zero Waste Scotland as part of a national programme working with communities across Scotland.