The Winter Gathering in Campbeltown

Campbeltown Harbour on a cloudy day. There are boats parked on the jetty.
Published: 20/02/2023

(February 2023) Architecture and Design Scotland supported a Climate Action Town event in Campbeltown, to help celebrate and raise awareness of the co-benefits of local climate action activities.  

This month we teamed up with Campbeltown’s community groups to launch ‘The Winter Gathering’, an event celebrating the positive activities being taken locally in the town and raising awareness of this further in the community. 

Whilst driving down the Kintyre peninsula to the Climate Action Towns event, our team at Architecture and Design Scotland discussed Campbeltown's positive trajectory and it’s recently published Community Action Plan. 

The Community Action Plan 2022-2027, gathers insight into the communities ‘needs, aspirations and challenges which affect the community and inform ongoing development activity’.  

It builds on the success achieved by the South Kintyre Development Trust (SKDT), the Community Council, Inspiralba and other anchor organisations in regenerating the town. 

Supporting and promoting local climate action activities

The Winter Gathering included and was supported by a total of eight community groups from the Campbeltown area including SKDT, Kintyre Weigh Ahead eco-shop, Inspiralba, ALIEnergy (a local energy efficiency group), the new Preloved to REloved furniture recycling shop, Kintyre Recycling, Kintrye Wind and Argyll and Bute Council Home Energy Efficiency programme.  

Located at the recently thermally upgraded Warm Hub in the new SKDT Hall on Kirk Street, the event provided a further opportunity to begin discussions around what a Climate Ready Campbeltown could look like.  

The event also provided a platform for the organisations working with Climate Actions Towns on the Community Action Plan process the chance to promote their work to the community and engage with a new audience. 

And from bike repair to wind farm pressure groups, these initiatives provided an example of the scope of climate actions that people can engage with in Campbeltown. 

As part of this event, we also invited attendees to participate in some mapping exercises around their climate concerns for Campbeltown and the surrounding areas. 

An open channel for climate action discussions

On the day there were many robust and animated conversations. These touched on the barriers that the community and partners are addressing and raised some new concerns including the viability of new active travel infrastructure. 

The Community Growing project in the town also garnered a lot of public interest and through the event, SKDT has a clear mandate to move that project forward. 

“Really good to see this event running locally- thanks to the organisers. There was a good buzz in the hall”

The Winter Gathering event attendee

Climate action work can be misunderstood and mislabeled under a separate heading such as ‘regeneration’ or ‘community action’. Events such as the Winter Gathering play an important role in re-aligning a community’s understanding of climate action and raising public awareness for local climate action initiatives in each town.  

An architectural sketch of people walking on a pathway and relaxing by a river beside a town centre.

Supporting place-based climate action in a network of small Scottish towns

Read more about the Climate Action Towns project and the network of small Scottish towns that are aiming to create a healthier, fairer and more thriving place to live for their communities.

Learn more