PLANS TO BOOST facilities in Lossiemouth and place real power for the management of the town into the hands of local people are now taking shape.
The Lossiemouth Community Development Trust was formed with the aim of improving existing facilities and adding to them – with the example set in similar communities around Scotland being used as a guide for the future of the Moray town.
Now after almost two years of step-by-step progress, the Trust is on the verge of taking full control of its first major asset – and has eyes firmly set on many more.
“The desire to form a Trust in the town came from within our local community, with several public meetings leaving little doubt that there was a serious need for something to be done to bring everyone and everything together into one group,” the Trust chair Donna Milne said.
She added: “For the last two years we have gradually removed each of the barriers to our progress, from bringing as many existing local groups on board as possible to ensuring that we are on a legally sound footing through obtaining company and charitable status for the Trust.”
A carefully prepared Community Action Plan was published at the end of 2015 that reflected the aims, hopes and desires of community representatives on the newly formed Trust board – most homes in the town should have received a copy by the end of last month.
Donna said: “The Action Plan was formed from ideas put forward at our public events and in subsequent group meetings. Many of the ideas in that plan are already well under way – our sports and recreation sub-group was quick to establish itself and now has most of the youth and adult sports groups in the town taking part.
“Our plans to finally establish a future for the Seatown Bridge are also advancing – from discussions in various other groups over the last ten years it has been clear that clarity over who actually owns the bridge is the largest stumbling block, so the Trust has taken steps to establishing that with a long term view of taking day to day management of the bridge.
“We have been in discussions with Moray Council over a Community Asset Transfer of the main areas of Station Park and we very much hope and expect that will be completed soon, resulting in the community taking management control of that important part of Lossiemouth on behalf of our community.
“We will have a representative at the VisitScotland Expo in Edinburgh next month alongside delegates from Elgin, Forres, Keith and Buckie – that will allow us to promote Lossiemouth to leading travel companies from throughout Europe.”
One of the largest success stories for the Trust so far has been the annual Seafest week in the town, an event that has helped provide the financial backing required to get the LCDT started.
Donna added: “We are all delighted with the way Seafest has so quickly settled into the minds of people in Lossiemouth – it was very widely supported in its first year in 2014 and that was built on with a tremendously successful Food and Drink day last year.
“This year Seafest runs from July 2 to July 9 and we have a number of exciting events planned throughout the week.”
For anyone in the IV31 postcode area who has not yet received a copy of the LCDT Community Action Plan they can be collected from Unique on Pitgaveny Street – a copy can also be viewed here.