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Scotland’s Improvement Districts Congratulates Discover Lanark on Successful Vote

The Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, and Programme Director of Scotland’s Improvement Districts, Phil Prentice, has welcomed the successful vote to establish Discover Lanark, Scotland’s newest Improvement District.

Mr Prentice also reiterated the opportunity for Lanark to realise the type of growth and regeneration seen in other towns across Scotland adopting a similar model, stating:

“This is great news for Discover Lanark, and for the local economy more widely. Their success is a real vote of confidence in their vision and plan for the area. By working together, and collaborating with a range of partners in the public and private sector, Discover Lanark will be able to replicate the success of other Improvement Districts across Scotland. This means more footfall for local businesses, cleaner streets, more vibrant town centres and better general economic conditions. It’s good for businesses and communities”.

The six-week ballot process to decide whether a BID should be established in Lanark concluded on Thursday 28th February 2019. The businesses of Lanark voted Yes to implementing the proposals within the Business Plan put forward by the Discover Lanark Steering Group.

Discover Lanark chair, Graeme McLeish, has since issued a call for local business people to join the Board of Discover Lanark

The Chair of the Steering Group for Discover Lanark, Graeme McLeish, of RC McLeish Insurance Consultants, has said that Lanark can replicate the success of elsewhere in Scotland by bringing business together behind a joint vision for the area.

McLeish made the remarks as part of a call for local people to join the Discover Lanark Board, as the process for establishing the local business partnership organisation commences over the coming weeks. Discover Lanark will be seeking to recruit twelve Directors, appoint a Manager and find new premises and more information will be published shortly.

McLeish acknowledged that there were concerns among some businesses about the idea, and reiterated his commitment to work collaboratively with anyone who had concerns to ensure their ideas fed into the Discover Lanark vision and work programme.

Speaking following the successful vote, Steering Group Chair, Graeme McLeish, said:

“We are obviously delighted with the successful vote, and we’re excited to embark on a new journey for the local Lanark economy. By working together, and harnessing the energy, idea and experience of our local business people, we can develop and deliver a vision and work programme that will result in real improvements for our local businesses and communities.

“I understand that there are some people and businesses who have concerns about the model, and I intend to do my best to persuade them of the value this can bring to our local area and work with them going forward to listen to their views and ideas, ensuring they play an important role in our work going forward – my door is always open.

“We intend to hit the ground running over the next few weeks, and we are asking for local business people to come forward and join our board. As well as that, a number of cost saving initiatives will get underway with Eyebright utilities, and we plan to run a series of digital workshops to support local businesses to get the most of their online presence.”

Chief Executive of Scotand’s Towns Partnership, and Scotland’s Improvement Districts Programme Director, Phil Prentice, also added:

 “The strength of the Improvement Districts proposition is in its simplicity. By pooling and sharing resources, local businesses, working with other private, public and third sector partners, take a leading role in improving local economic conditions by delivering an agreed package of investment and initiatives over and beyond that delivered by local and national government.”

Image: The Discover Lanark steering group mark the successful ballot to establish the Improvement District (Discover Lanark)


  1. For more information, or to register your interest as a Board member, email
  2. Further information on Discover Lanark can be found here, including the full results of the ballot vote:
  3. More information about Improvement Districts can be found here:
  4. Business Improvement Districts are a core part of the Scottish Government’s economic strategy and regeneration policy. More information can be found here: