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This site is for people interested in the management and ownership of land-based assets by communities in Scotland. A Scottish Community Land Network, you might say... As you know the internet is a big 'place' with everything about anything so we brought you relevant news and events, and provide opportunities to share ideas with other people interested in this subject. There are almost 1000 members, and more than 800 articles in our archive.


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Ty's great British makeover - the Langholm experience

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The last week of May was a hectic and exciting time in Langholm as the local community hosted the US TV star Ty Pennington and his UK film crew to make the third series of his show 'Ty's Great British Adventure'. 

Earlier in the year the producers were trawling the UK to find two communities who could pull together and create a community space that would be a source of local pride (see previous SCotLaNd article).

The Langholm Initiative had been in consultation with the community to gather feedback on proposed improvements to the Kilngreen, for some considerable time, but as ever, the amount of funding required to realise their ambitions seemed out of reach.  The play equipment at Kilngreen was reduced to one slide, the former Tourist office was virtually derelict, and the whole area looked down at heel.  It was a long shot but The Langholm Initiative expressed an interest in being involved with "Ty's Great British Adventure" and were surprised and delighted when the UK Producer Dave Baines made an exploratory visit in March.

Ty Pennington in a kilt!And he couldn't fail to be impressed when, on a wet Monday morning, he was greeted by members of the Town Band, Pipe Band, Playcare, Community Council, Buccleuch Estates, the Clan Armstrong, local business people, Councillor Denis Male and chief executive Phil Jones.  As he was filming, the rain stopped and a rainbow appeared, showing Langholm in all its glory.  The sound of the pipes and brass, the excitement of the children and the obvious community pride made a great impression.  Some weeks later, after a lot of further research was completed, the Initiative was informed that Langholm had been chosen for the programme which would be filmed at the end of May.

The filming for this type programme is completed in just 7 days, so a tremendous amount of preparatory work went into sourcing materials, organising volunteers and making the whole thing happen.  There were lots of phone-calls and emails flying round, which got pretty stressful in the office at times.  But on Sunday 24th May, Ty and his 24 -strong crew arrived in Langholm and were greeted on the Kilngreen by a big local crowd. A hectic week of building, digging, clearing, cleaning and planting followed, with all hands on deck. Donations of machinery,equipment, time, materials and food for volunteers were incredible.  Thelocal ladies who appeared every day with tea and home-baking for the workers were especially welcome!

The band stand after rennovationThe Kilngreen was always a beautiful location, but thanks to this project, it now boasts new play equipment; an outdoor performance area; a tourist/heritage building with decked area; a new information panel; an improved view of the Castle remains with an information cairn and a new all-abilities path on the Castleholm.  Small scale landscaping and planting undertaken by volunteers gave the whole area a newly cared-for look.

The word "partnership" is much used, but in this case the partnership working was exemplary.  Public, private and voluntary sectors worked together at fever pitch to make it all happen. It was inevitable that such a "bombshell" project would create stress and upheaval during the process, but it has all been worthwhile and relationships have been strengthened because of that.

The week culminated in a community celebration on the final Sunday evening, with music and entertainment from local talents of all ages. Special guest Sandi Thom sang to an enthusiastic crowd and Ty appeared on stage in a kilt made from a local clan tartan.

'Ty's Great British Adventure' has left Langholm a legacy of huge improvements to a community space and will raise the profile of Dumfries and Galloway when the programme is aired, first on the UK style channel next spring and subsequently in the US.  

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