Smailholm Village Hall
Smailholm Village Hall

Smailholm Futures


Smailholm Futures

The ultimate goal of this project is for the wider Smailholm community to become instrumental in building the future for their community, with funds and support available from the Scottish Borders Council, national government and other investors.  

Scottish Borders Council Place Making Initiative provides the community with a framework and set of tools to conduct the consultation.

What is Place Making?

Place-making is fundamental to UK and Scottish Government policy and legislation on community development. It is about everyone in a community working together to determine what matters to them and their community, to plan and explore together what is good, and what needs to change.

Launch event – 17 February 2023

The launch event took place following an extensive door-to-door awareness raising campaign. The aim of this event was to raise awareness of and create enthusiasm for the planning process, to conduct a preliminary identification of main issues / dreams and to identify volunteers to help move this process forward.

At this first well attended meeting, all small group discussions were recorded by hand on village maps at each of 6 tables and subsequently transcribed into a Word document.  Draft ideas drawn on to the individual maps were consolidated on to a separate village map.  A final report was produced and sent out to all within the Smailholm and surrounding area.

It was clear from the initial meeting that it was important that we maintain the rural character of Smailholm and surrounding area and five key topics emerged, these are:

Transport, Environment, Paths and Routes, Energy, Community

A second meeting was held on the 21st April 2023 to consult with the village community and surrounding area to identify possibilities and priorities for community action, and from this produce a comprehensive village plan.

Each topic was given a table within the hall.  People at the meeting were encouraged to go to the tables where they wanted to express their views.  This could be done either in writing on the provided sheet or they could pop a post it on the table anonymously.   There was also the opportunity to speak with each steering group member located at each table to explain what they did and didn’t want, as well express what they felt.  This meeting was also well attended.

It was also explained at the meeting that if the community do not want some things to change this would also be included in the plan. A further report on this meeting was then sent out to all in the community.

Since this meeting the committee have also been meeting with local farmers and a representative at Mellerstain to update and gather views from them. 

Throughout the process the steering group have asked for feedback from the wider community and to this end sent out a small questionnaire with the second report. 

Feedback can be given at any time through the email or posted in Smailholm Futures box in the Village Hall.  

One of the areas highlighted in the first meeting was the poor state of the woodland and pathway next  to the pond.  This was the first task tackled by the steering group along with a group of volunteers who worked hard to clear the wood and re-instate the pathway to the pond area.  A barbecue followed arranged by the Village Hall.

So far, from feedback, some of the community felt that some of the topics highlighted, required further in-depth discussion and advice from experts before going forward to planning stage.   This is the next step for the steering group to arrange.

We are located at:

Smailholm Village Hall




If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us.

01573 460254

or use the form on our Contact page.

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