Transforming Balloch will take a big effort from lots of organisations over a few years.
The National Park and West Dunbartonshire Council are ready to play their part. But they will need support from local businesses and community groups.
The Council and National Park will need to secure funding from other sources to implement improvements to publicly owned spaces and buildings like the village centre, Balloch Park and Balloch Castle.
To secure external funding for other projects, local community groups or organisations will need to seek potential funders like Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sustrans. Funders like these always look for evidence of community support.
A strategy to bring the Castle back into use may benefit from a new community-based organisation to access funds that are not open to the Council or National Park. This might be a Community Development Trust or ‘Friends of Balloch Castle’.
We’re proposing to create better spaces for events and activities in the village centre, Moss O’Balloch and Balloch Park. But these will only come to life if local businesses and community groups make use of them, bringing visitors, footfall and activity for local people. That means working together to organise and market a programme of events throughout the year. What’s important is that the local community will need to take the lead, perhaps through creating a new Balloch Forum, the establishment of a development trust or a similar organisation.