National park communities invited to summit

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Communities across Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are being invited to an event offering advice and support on running community halls and facilities.

The Community Partnership, supported by Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, is holding a village hall summit on Wednesday June 27, offering managers and volunteer committees of village halls and community spaces the chance to benefit from expert advice and guidance.

The summit, the first of its kind in the national park, will bring together all those in the area who manage these facilities to provide inspiration and practical advice from a range of partners across the national park.

It will feature case studies of other village and community halls using their space in innovative or impressive ways, practical workshops that will help managers to create an outline development plan bespoke to their hall, and networking and access to advice from over 20 experts.

The aim of the event is to empower hall managers to deliver actions that will improve the quality of the service and facilities they provide to their communities – a vision outlined in the National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023.

Stuart Mearns, director of rural planning and development, at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, said: ‘The National Park Partnership Plan sets out an exciting vision for our communities that ensures they are empowered and supported to influence and deliver actions that improve their quality of life and place. This event is just one example of partners in the plan coming together to make that vision a reality.

‘The village hall summit promises to be a practical and productive day which will offer big benefits for those spaces which bring together our communities.

‘I would encourage anyone with a role in managing a village or community hall to come along to hear from experts and learn best practice from your peers, so that you can begin forward planning an exciting and sustainable future for your hall.’

Dinah McDonald, chairwoman of the Community Partnership, added: ‘Our village halls have always been the heart of rural communities. Ensuring a sustainable future for these spaces in today’s world can seem an increasingly difficult challenge to the many volunteers who are the core of their success. This summit promises to offer tools and support to make that job far easier and the future of community spaces more exciting.’

The village hall summit takes place at the National Park Authority headquarters in Balloch on Wednesday June 27 from 4pm to 8.30pm.