Last year, New Lanark Trust joined forces with Lanark Community Development Trust and Discover Lanark to commission a report on the unique combined heritage potential of Lanark, New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde. The report, written by heritage specialists CMC Associates, and funded by Border Biscuits Community Support, examines how best to realise far greater benefits for the town and its surroundings from our much loved, but often underestimated, natural and cultural heritage. The partnership has now been joined by Scottish Wildlife Trust.
The report suggests the general direction that the area might follow over the next ten years, not only to aid recovery from the Covid19 pandemic but also to lay a foundation for longer-term prosperity and community development, taking best advantage of its natural and cultural heritage assets. These include the Royal Burgh’s conservation area, New Lanark World Heritage Site, the Falls of Clyde National Nature Reserve and the many strands of history related to them.
The report also emphasises the importance of working together and ensuring good communication and consultation within the community. It highlights the emerging priorities for rural communities in a greener environment, especially the need for better-integrated transport and use of local renewable energy resources such as hydro, and points to the economic development opportunities than can accrue. A central concept of the consultants is the creation of an arrival hub for Lanark to provide good transport connections, a welcome for visitors on business or pleasure, information and signposting for access to our many points of interest.
The report will now form the basis of a discussion in the community on the best future for the area. The responses received will help to shape a delivery plan. Stage one of the consultation will involve a questionnaire sent to local organisations which will be followed by a Stage two public consultation which will be advertised in the next few weeks.