With a struggling town centre, Hadas brought together the key organisations in the town to form the Haddington Town Centre Vision Committee, led by our chairman Andrew Robinson. The Committee appointed consultants, Urban Animation, to undertake a study. Hadas was joined by the Community Council, Business Association, History Society and Knox Academy. Funding from all of these organisations was supported by generous donations from Hadas members and individuals along with East Lothian Council.
The Vision Report, A Vision for Haddington Town Centre, fulfilling our potential, launched in 2012, was ‘prepared with the help and enthusiasm of a huge number of people and organisations in and around Haddington. The Vision is rooted in their aspirations and enthusiasm for the place that they love’ (Urban Animation report).
The Haddington Town Centre Vision Project is a good example of people working together for the good of their town. The Vision sets out how the town can build on its strengths:
• East Lothian’s Hub-its role as East Lothian’s hub for residents and visitors
• Telling the Story-its unique story as one of Scotland’s oldest towns
• A Special Place-its abundance of attractive buildings, streets and spaces, including the River Tyne
• A Creative and enterprising future-its enterprising and creative people, not least the younger generation
• Collective responsibility-its well establishes community spirit
The vision sets out a challenge to the town to ensure that everything anyone does should support the overriding ambition ‘to animate Haddington Town Centre, generate more activity and increase footfall’.
Clear priorities were established and set out as 8 key actions, that offer transformational benefits for the long term future of Haddington.
1. The best town square in Scotland?
2. Getting About: an access strategy for Haddington Town Centre
3. Re-use empty buildings
4. telling the world: marketing Haddington Town Centre
5. Get Local
6. Enterprising Youth
Hadas continues to support and champion these ambitions and helped and supported the creation of the Haddington Community Development Trust, where it continues to have a presence on the board.