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Moffat vision unveiled

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By Fiona Reid
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Moffat vision unveiled

DILAPIDATED hotels transformed into spas, a 10 mph zone high street for Moffat and a railway station in Beattock —a ten year town plan exploding with ideas was unveiled in Moffat this week.

The Moffat and Beattock Community Action Plan, which was created to supporta£540,000 funding pledge from Clyde Extension Windfarm, was presented to locals on Tuesday night.

It contains a joint vision of what Moffat and Beattock could be like in ten years’ time, together with priority actions that have been dubbed ‘game changers’ to turn those visions into realities.

Creator of the plan Nick Wright, of Nick Wright Planning, who was commissioned to produce the report, said: “The vision and actions are based on the local communities’ aspirations, gleaned throughaperiod of engagement with local people during summer and autumn 2016 to find out what they wanted for their communities in the future.

“The plan is botharecord of those aspirations and a package of actions to achieve them, based on experience from elsewhere.”

Transforming Moffat into ‘Scotland’s Best High Street’ has been listed as the first ‘game changer’ with suggestions including a 10 mph zone, new pedestrian crossings, free wifi, a pop-up shop scheme and investment in Well Street to help make it a star attraction.

Nick said: “The High Street has the potential to be Scotland’s best.Acomplete redesign and reconstruction of the street and pavements to create a high quality pedestrian friendly environment, combined with investment in building conservation, would of course be an excellent objective.”

Other ‘game changers’ include giving Ladyknowe and Station Park a new lease of life, with suggestions including developing the Mercury Motor Inn into a spa hub and relaxation centre.

Making Moffat the south west’s outdoor capital, developing sport and play, increased focus on arts and culture for all, turning the town into an attractive business hub, making education at the heart of the community, expanding housing, better marketing and a focus on local people leading Moffat into the future were also given top status.

Meanwhile a list of five priorities were created for Beattock, leading with re-opening the village’s railway station.

Others include a new lease of life for the heritage park, refreshing the village’s sport and recreation, improving the cycle path to Moffat and supporting the community’s, wants such as 20 mph through Main Street.

The plan was launched on Tuesday night to a host of locals at Moffat Town Hall with a separate event planned for Beattock residents in the near future.

But creator Nick has stressed that the action plan is not yet finite and will be subject to any necessary tweaks following feedback from meetings before it goes live online for all to view.

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