Lanark is to be made more vibrant thanks to a Scottish Government grant to help fund a selection of projects.
Lanark Community Development Trust has received £30,000 from a £1.7 million fund to help communities across Scotland revitalise their areas.
And the Trust’s Vibrant Lanark is one of the first 21 projects to benefit.
“We are delighted we have got the money,” said Trust chairman Sylvia Russell.
“The Trust is working very hard to improve Lanark, and to make it a more vibrant town.
“We are trying to make it more vibrant and to encourage people to visit.”
There are four separate aspects to Vibrant Lanark, but the projects have still to be finalised.
Part of the grant, £14,000 is earmarked for information touchscreens, one in the window of the Tolbooth at the Cross, and the other in a window of the Memorial Hall, giving information on what is on in the town and on aspects of its history.
The Trust is currently working on a William Wallace Trail.
It has been planting roses in Castlebank Park - the restoration of the park is its major project – to create a William Wallace Garden, taking his route from Lanark Castle down to the Clyde side in the 14th century.
Now £6000, plus £3000 from Border Biscuits, will provide five interpretation signs, again with information throughout the town.
The most ambitious part is the creation of a visitor room at Lanark Station.
Negotiations are taking place, and the Trust hopes to have the use of a former kiosk there with information around the walls telling Lanark’s story to those arriving by train.
“We are trying to encourage visitors and to let them see what a nice little town we have,” added Sylvia.
The Trust has earmarked £6000 for that.
The fourth aspect has a topical theme - “Lanark’s Christmas decorations are over a decade old and a bit worn,” said Sylvia.
The Trust is looking at buying 40 brackets, at a cost of £4000, which would go up outside local businesses.
The brackets would each hold a lighted Christmas tree at an angle; and after Christmas they could hold other decorations, for example at Lanimers.
“It is all to make the town centre brighter,” said Sylvia.
The announcement of the grant offers to 21 town centre groups across Scotland, including Lanark, has pleased Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell.
“I am delighted by this announcement from the Scottish Government,” she said.
“The £1.7 million fund will give enterprising communities the opportunity to take forward improvements in their area.
“By giving community organisations the opportunities to take action we can help make town centres the attractive and thriving places we all know they can be.
“It is a very exciting development that the Lanark Community Development Trust is to be offered funding for their ‘Vibrant Lanark’ project – it is rightful recognition for the hard work and effort put in by the volunteers of Lanark Development Trust to help make improvements to the town.
“Funding like this shows the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting the third sector and empowering communities to play their part in economic and social development, and I am pleased my constituents in Clydesdale are set to feel the benefit of this initiative.”