Report sets out route map towards greener towns




4 February 2021

Green Action Trust calls for urgent steps on implementing Sparks’ Report and Review of the Town Centre Action Plan

The Green Action Trust, the trusted delivery partner focussed on environmental and regeneration outcomes for Scotland, has warmly welcomed the publication of the Report from the Independent Review Group set up by the Scottish Government to look at town centre policy . The report is available on

The report – entitled “A New Future for Scotland’s Town centres” – sets out a series of recommendations for improving town centres across Scotland, and puts the needs of the environment and the planet at the heart of future thinking and planning for the communities of the future.

Commenting on the release of the Review Group’s report, Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of the Green Action Trust said:

“The Green Action Trust believes that this report represents a significant step forward in thinking strategically about our future towns. For too long we have willed the end without supporting the means, as far as the development of sustainable town centres is concerned. This report changes that once and for all.

“It makes clear that action to build sustainable communities, where accessible green spaces and active travel routes provide a new framework for town centre living and working should now be baked into future planning. Green Action Trust is determined that we can bring our expertise in environmental regeneration to the fore in making this vision for future towns a reality.

“Our experience in working to deliver the Central Scotland Green Network has made clear that the appetite is there for greater leadership on climate action and sustainability in towns. The CSGN has made substantial progress across Central Scotland and this report presents an opportunity for us to deepen our impact further with partners and stakeholders.”

The Report was commissioned by Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP, and the headline report recommendations include

● Strengthening the relative position of towns within the national planning framework

● Town centre plans to focus on the wellbeing of people, planet and economy

● Tax interventions to ensure target climate outcomes are delivered

● Increased funding for projects like climate action towns, active travel expansion and green spaces

The written evidence provided by GATrust to the Review can be accessed here.

Derek continued:

“What is refreshing about this report is the determination to take the steps necessary to deliver change and protect the unique contribution of Scotland’s towns. Our Trust is determined to play a leadership role in making these ambitions a reality.

“As we said in our submission, town centres can play an important role in delivering a successful, net zero carbon, climate ready nation.”

To learn more about the CSGN visit