Dr Marie Macklin CBE, founder and executive chair of The HALO Urban Regeneration Company, exclusively writes the latest Agenda piece for The Herald discussing the impact of Covid-19 and how Scotland’s towns and communities can lead the way in recovery and beyond. Read an extract below.
Coronavirus has taken a terrible toll – in lives lost; families bereaved; businesses bankrupt; and jobs gone, perhaps forever. And we’re only just entering the first phase of lockdown exit. No-one knows the extent of the damage that this vicious virus will have caused by the time we fully emerge from its clutches. Yet, amidst the carnage there have been glimpses of light. Random acts of kindness. The staggeringly selfless actions of our heroes in the NHS and care services. Innovation and creativity channelled to overcome problems that, six months ago, we didn’t even know we had. And there’s one word that summarises our response to our current crisis: “community”.
I’m not one of the intellectual elite that populate the corridors of power in either Westminster or Holyrood. Nor am I one of the seemingly endless crop of professors on our daily news bulletins. But I am convinced of this: our future health, wellbeing and prosperity lies in our communities.
For 30 years I have been an advocate of community-led regeneration focusing on brownfield sites in our towns. The mill towns; steel towns; coal towns that sprouted up as part of the industrial revolution and were successful because of the innovation, entrepreneurship and hard work of the people who lived there.
Read the full piece in The Herald here.