The Council has approved a new long-term strategy to help support the growth and development of Stirling city centre.
The Council has approved a new long-term strategy to help support the growth and development of Stirling city centre.

Members of the Finance and Economy Committee approved the Stirling City Centre Strategy, which features a wide range of actions to support the city centre through the re-thinking of spaces, buildings and cultural activity.

The Strategy will be delivered alongside a range of partners who helped develop its key targets and ambitions, including Go Forth Stirling Business Improvement District, Stirling Arcade and The Thistles shopping centre, as well as Historic Environment Scotland and the University of Stirling.

Increasing footfall, including overnight stays and international visitors, as well as improving business confidence in the city centre are among the key targets for the new strategy.

Key projects being delivered this year

A number of key projects are already set to be delivered this year, helping aid city centre recovery in the immediate wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, including:

Heritage-led regeneration projects in the historic Mercat Cross and Old Town area of Stirling City Centre, supported by more than £1.3 million funding from Historic Environment Scotland.

-        This includes the development of designs for the renovation of the Alhambra Theatre, John Cowane’s House, and historic public realm in the Baker Street Vennels and Kingstables Lane.

-        It also includes the establishment and delivery of small building and shopfront repair grant schemes and training and education programmes.

The development and implementation of an augmented reality (AR) environment in Stirling City Centre.

-        Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology.

-        The plans will transform the visitor experience through the development of digital and physical signs, wayfinding and augmented reality assets.

-        These will also link in to other local communities and attractions, such as the iconic National Wallace Monument.

Begin Walk, Cycle, Live Stirling projects on site to bring improvements to active travel and streetscapes in the City Centre area at Dumbarton Road, Albert Place and Upper Craigs.

-        Work will begin in the Spring to resurface and widen pavements, as well as create safer crossing points alongside protected cycle lanes on the route from Upper Craigs, along the A811 and the Forth Valley College campus.

Realising Stirling's potential

Convenor of the Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has brought new economic challenges and hastened the need to think creatively and positively about the City Centre, its function and the unique opportunities it presents for Stirling.

“We are facing the same challenges as all the other town centres across the UK, but we believe Stirling has so many unique characteristics at its fingertips to develop a city centre which is healthy, active, attractive and accessible.

“This new strategy outlines how Stirling Council and its partners will tackle the issue and challenges facing Stirling and how we will go about realising the full potential of our city centre.”

Action is required

Vice Convenor, Councillor Alison Laurie said: “Action is required by all with a stake in the future of our city centre to ensure that problems can be positively addressed and overcome.

“Our vision is to create a vibrant Stirling city centre which offers an exceptional experience for residents, visitors and business both day and night.”