Cheek by jowl

As mentioned in previous posts, ORBIT Youth Council is responding to a general feeling of there not being a lot for many young people to do in their communities. We have shared stories of youth facilities and libraries closing and parks being run down sometimes even dangerous. For our final location pitch one team added a new dimension to this scenario - what happens when this is happening in towns which are located very close to tourist hotspots and areas of outstanding beauty.

For their pitch, Theo, Tyler, Lyela, Eve and Emily chose multiple areas in Tyler's home town of Balloch such as the Country Park and Loch Lomond Shores with an indoor option in Tyler's school, Vale of Leven Academy. Balloch is a small town in West Dumbartonshire. Growing up there, there isn’t a great deal to do especially as teenager interested in art and in some cases, this leads to antisocial behaviour. However, the town is in an exceptionally beautiful location and the town’s murals indicate there is an interest in art at least in some quarters.

The team were quite open in their presentation in terms of what the creative happening might be but they identified the towns history of industry and textiles as possible inspiration. They highlighted the high tourist footfall to surrounding areas as an opportunity to present a positive version of Balloch itself. They talked about getting local residents involved to showcase their town as a way of improving civic pride and optimism.

This pitch was clever as the team identified an opportunity to capture an existing audience with a new offer and thought about how people resident in tourist areas can make meaningful connections with transient visitors. Theo identified that his home town, Mallaig, attracts 'cool-looking young tourists who could share an interest in the arts but are never there for long enough to connect appropriately with'. This pitch offers a way to enrich an experience for both visitors and residents alike through such connections.

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