A Creative Placemaking Approach

by The Stove Network

The Stove Network, with support from South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), publish an important, new approach to Community Wealth Building and Community-Led Place Development.

The publication, entitled, ‘A Creative Placemaking Approach’ presents a methodology identifying how creativity and culture can work collaboratively with communities and support cross-sector working, addressing civic, economic, and development needs locally with communities.

This exciting piece of work is the result of over 10 years of rural-based practice in the South of Scotland alongside wider research and consultation already carried out by The Stove Network, including Scotland’s first Creative Placemaking Forum, ‘kNOw One Place’ hosted by The Stove via WWDN in Dumfries in 2022.

The publication comes at a time when the methodology of ‘creative placemaking’ is gaining traction across the country as a vital tool to amplify creativity and culture as a bridge to cross-sector working towards shared outcomes. In particular, the creative placemaking work in the South of Scotland was recently highlighted as an exemplary approach to unlocking the wider impact potential for creative industries in the UK Government’s Policy Paper (June 2023) Creative Industries Sector Vision.

Creative placemaking also features as a key approach within both the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government (2023 to 2024) and their recent National Culture Strategy Action Plan (Dec 2023) which highlights the work of The Stove alongside other national examples for creative community-embedded working.

This publication aims to support a vision of place and community where: creativity is used to develop a resilient and fair, future society, built on community wealth building principles, innovation, and long-term thinking.

‘When we started, this community lacked any kind of inspiration. The council put all this money into the area, we had all these parks that weans could play in, but nothing inspiring them. The parks were just your typical metal bars with basic swing, slide, and roundabout. That’s what was given to us as a community to be active. LIFT started putting on creative activities; lantern making, working with willow and paper mâché. What we were actually doing was bringing our community together. Suddenly I had 50 folk, which might not seem like a big number, but considering the social issues faced here, lack of confidence, deprivation, that was massive. I still have weans coming up to me and saying ‘mind that time we went and made those costumes, and we done that catwalk’. That’s amazing for people here that have had nothing similar before, it’s about making positive memories that they can pass on. By providing creative spaces and tools, LIFT now fuels a chain reaction of inspiration, empowering people to envision and enact change in their communities. That’s our creative placemaking vision.’

Angela Gilmour,
Managing Director and Founder,
Lochside Is Families Together (LIFT)

The aim of WWDN is to adopt this approach to Creative Placemaking, one that uses creative activity to support collective decision-making and positive change for people and the places they live, and to build a network of support across the region.

To find out more about “A Creative Placemaking Approach’, visit the Stove Network here

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