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Castletown could have a development trust by next spring


By Gordon Calder

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A DEVELOPMENT trust could be set up in Castletown by next spring in a bid to improve the village for locals and visitors. That is the aim of the people behind the proposal – Penny and Colin Gunn, Donna Kirk and Emma Manson.

They outlined the plan at the recent virtual meeting of the Castletown and District Community Council which gave its support to the idea.

Castletown could have a development trust by next spring.
Castletown could have a development trust by next spring.

The proposal is an an early stage yet and will be subject to a number of processes, including a community consultation before it can get underway, it was stated.

Penny Gunn, who with husband Colin helps run the local youth club, said it will be "a learning curve" but could make the village a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

It is hoped a number of organisations in Castletown will help get the trust "up and running" although it is planned to appoint a development officer to lead the initiative and secure funding for the various projects. "It would be a positive thing for the village," said Mrs Gunn.

Colin Gunn said the whole community could benefit from such a plan and felt young people should be involved.

Emma Manson, who with Donna Kirk, is campaigning for road safety measures beside the children's play park on the Main Street, said: "We want to reach out to everybody and see what they want and what can help them in their lives. We feel excited about it and hope you feel excited about it, too."

She stressed there are several things which could be done fairly quickly to improve the village while others would take longer. Donna Kirk said the development trust would benefit Castletown.

Further discussions are to take place with the Development Trusts Association Scotland before the community consultation takes place.

"That is the next step but we would hope that if all goes to plan we could be underway by the spring of next year," said Mrs Gunn after the meeting.

A number of development trusts have been set up, including one in Thurso and another for the Sinclair's Bay area as have many others throughout Scotland.

They have been formed in areas large and small, rural and urban as well as on mainland and island communities to help their areas through community-led activity, partnership working and enterprise.

The Development Trusts Association Scotland informs, supports and represents a network of development trusts, sharing knowledge and encouraging co-operation.


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