Home Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans Our Place Our Plan - Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank

Our Place Our Plan - Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank

Our Neighbourhood Plan for Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank (Annual Progress Report 2021–2022)


Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank (HUB) is one of three neighbourhoods identified by the South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership (CPP) in 2017 to test a new collective approach to tackling inequalities, taking preventative action and improving the lives of local people.

Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank encompasses Hillhouse Central, Hillhouse East, Hillhouse South, Hillhouse South East, Udston Central, Udston North, Udston South West and Wellhall North. The area has a population of 7,236. 51% of the population are female and 49% are male. The total number of households is 3,527

  • 985 lone adult households
  • 515 households with dependent children
  • 482 lone adults with dependent children
  • 628 children aged under 16 in lone parent households

Community assets include schools and nurseries, churches, community buildings and libraries, sport facilities and outdoor spaces including woodland, community gardens, MUGAs and play areas.  An ever growing vibrant community/voluntary sector provides a range of opportunities including but not exclusively youth projects, a homework club, an emergency food project, dementia support, a tenants and residents association, sports HUB, child and family focused activity, an ESOL group and a number of uniformed organisations.

“We continue to be inspired by group members, who continue to work together to improve their community. They have forged strong partnerships that have brought about so many positive changes and opportunities. It is a privilege to work alongside them, celebrate their numerous achievements and continue to assist them in realising their ambitions and goals. After a challenging year, we continue to grow and adapt and look forward to what the future will bring”. Community Links Development Team


  • In October 2017 the South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership agreed to test a new collective approach to tackling local inequalities and improving the lives of local people.
  • 3 areas were chosen to test this approach including Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank (HUB).
  • In November 2017 an awareness raising event was held involving residents involved in community life and those working in the neighbourhood.
  • The community engagement process is co-designed with local residents. The four big questions were devised.
  • Survey opened in November 2017 and closed in February 2018, 550 households participate.
  • March 2018 the Community Action Group is established. 10 priorities themes identified through the survey form the basis HUB neighbourhood plan. Thematic working groups are formed. Early actions are agreed in May 2018 – ongoing deliberative priority setting has been a key feature of neighbourhood planning activity since.
  • March 2018 £60,000 Community Choices Fund is secured, match contributions secured from the NHS, CPP and TP programme. Funding is aligned to support the delivery of early actions.
  • A participatory budgeting approach was used to allocate funds. 268 residents cast their votes 14 new projects were designed and delivered.
  • January 2019 the Neighbourhood plan is agreed.
  • Community Action Group and working groups continued to meet regularly with the community and stakeholder working collaboratively to bring the neighbourhood plan to life. Post the first lockdown the Community Action Group resumed with online information sessions and meetings.


In 2020/21, £7000 was allocated to the HUB area to facilitate a participatory budgeting process.

The Community Action Group were actively involved in devising every aspect of the participatory budgeting process. Contributing towards and fine tuning, the engagement process, setting criteria, considering paperwork and promotion. Pre the public vote the group also reviewed the submitted proposals to ensure they complied with priorities.

Covid-19 restrictions were a huge consideration but the group were fully committed to the community engagement process and making sure it wasn’t compromised because of the lack of direct contact and the absence of community meetings and events, key features of previous rounds of participatory budgeting.

To help achieve wide and representative involvement the group used the participatory budgeting charter to plan participatory budgeting in 2020. A small grants model was used to generate ideas and proposals and a combination of on line voting and telephone contact was undertaken to maximise participation.

  • 858 HUB residents voted
  • 13 proposals submitted
  • 3 fully funded
  • 1 partial award

All projects have set outcomes and will be monitored once activities are fully delivered.

Post the vote all proposal leads were invited to a meeting with the Lottery and VASLan to discuss alternative funding options.

Priority Progress that has been achieved

1 More leisure and social opportunities

• The homework club provides a range of support.

• Go Football sessions were offered by SLLC in collaboration with a range of stakeholders. Asda provide medals, wristbands and hospitality.

2 Greater community safety

• The Our Place A Safe Place survey is opened seeking views and solutions concerning anti-social behaviour.

• In response to community concerns new public space CCTV is installed in Burnbank.

3 Physical environment improvements

• Participatory budgeting funding enables Hillhouse Residents and Tenants Association to deliver substantial environmental improvements at their community garden. Providing a much needed and valued focal point for community events and activities.

4 Stronger and better communities

• A local Covid Response Group was established, extensive collaboration between the community/voluntary sector and partners resulted and in delivery of a coordinated response ensuring the welfare of vulnerable individuals and families throughout the pandemic.

• The Community Action Group have developed a “Whats On” guide to better connect/reconnect residents to community life.

5 Easier to get about/moving around

• Stakeholders and partners are working together to develop actions.

6 Housing improvements

• Replacement and upgrade of door entry system to flats in Burnbank the new systems have video entry which provide enhanced safety and security to tenants.

7 Better employment and business opportunities

• SELECT continued to engage residents seeking training or work via online digital hubs.

8 Better financial wellbeing

• Gilmour and Whitehill Parish Church in partnership with the Harvest Group and other partners are supporting an emergency food supply initiative. Over 120 packages are being distributed per month.

• Hamilton CAB continued to provide services via telephone contact during Covid-19 targeting the area.

• Back to school activities take place.

• The community sports Hub model is enabling young people to test and try new sports, offering reduced membership fees and reducing the financial outlay for kit.

9 Better education and training opportunities

• Community Links South Lanarkshire SELECT project provides digital skills training to promote digital inclusion, enabling members and the wider community to participate in online activities/opportunities.

• IT devices are made available via the Connecting Scotland Fund.

10 Health improvements

• Participatory budgeting funding is used to develop a Community Sports Hub introducing young people to new sports experiences. The project is delivered in collaboration with South Lanarkshire Leisure and the Harvest Group.

Development plans

The Community Action Group are currently identifying and setting realistic and achievable goals for the year ahead. Emerging issues include:

  • The need to promote community wellbeing and connections to help reduce social isolation and other impacts of Covid-19.
  • Celebrating community spirit, participation and involvement.
  • Maximising collaborations and partnerships built and strengthened during the pandemic and how to sustain this as we move forward into recovery.
  • Identify ways to support and resource existing groups as they prepare to resume operations post the pandemic.

To begin to achieve this group are:

  • A mapping exercise is underway to create a single point of contact for community information/opportunities. To highlight existing community activity and how this can be built upon to best meet the community’s need and maximise community assets and resources. The Community Action Group will coordinate key dates and identify collaborations, and mapping will be used to support community conversations to identify new areas of interest/development in line with priority themes.
  • Joint events will take place to strengthen the community infrastructure and build community spirit.
  • Back to school activities will be delivered to mitigate the cost of the school day.
  • Participatory budgeting will be used to support community recovery.

“Being involved means you find out more and learn about “why “decisions are made. It’s been a joy to be part of Our Place Our Plan, you get a sense of achievement, a feeling of improving things and creating opportunities. Having a clear plan from the start has really helped. Working with the top ten local priorities and having a timetable for action. It’s interesting so see the timetable and how it is being delivered”.   David Downie, Community Group Member

Case study

Situated in the heart of Burnbank, Gilmour and Whitehill Parish Church is providing a much needed focal point for the communities of Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank. Strong partnerships have been forged between Gilmour and Whitehill Church, the Harvest Church, Our Place Our Plan Community Action group, and the wider community. There is no doubt that community led initiatives are making positive differences to resident’s quality of life.

The Burnbank café and emergency food supplies project are examples of how local people and organisations identify and quickly respond to local need. Providing a warm welcome and treating people well and with dignity is the cornerstone of everything that is going on in the church. The café runs from 10am to 2pm every Friday, providing hot drinks and a snack. Once restrictions ease further a full menu will be re-introduced.

Ensuring residents have ease of access to services or signposting is an integral part of the café, and because of this staff are on hand or on call from a whole range of organisations when needed.

The emergency food supply initiative operates every Friday from 12 noon to 2pm. Participatory budgeting funds, donations and an enormous amount of people power in the form of a dedicated band of volunteers, are enabling food packages to be provided to individuals and families. On average 30 packages are being distributed every week.

“We are simply doing the right thing in challenging times. People are just so grateful”. Anne Paul, Session Clerk, Gilmour and Whitehill Parish Church

“I was overwhelmed by the support I received and the food package was much more than I expected. I was wary of asking for help, but I was met with such a warm friendly welcome, it put me at my ease right away. My thanks to everyone involved". A mum of two from Burnbank

If you would like to find out more or get involved please contact:

Communities Team 0303 123 1017 / www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk

Kimberley Keyes 01698 827583 or email kimberly@communitylinkssl.co.uk

Our Place Our Plan Facebook page / wwww.facebook.com/ourplaceourplanhub

“The biggest achievement has to be community involvement. Neighbourhood planning has given the community the opportunity and the confidence to make real changes and improvements. Residents have been encouraged to recognise and build community assets especially our people and place.  Relationships are at the centre of all we do through Our Place, Our Plan, so building connections and strong partnerships are helping to make our priorities become a reality.  Only by working together can we leave a lasting legacy in Hillhouse, Udston and Burnbank". HUB focus group