Case Studies: Asset Transfer & Capital Development
Our work supports the growth of confident, creative, financially stable community organisations.
Granton Castle Walled Garden
Granton Castle Walled Garden in Edinburgh is a magical place in a unique setting. Saved from development into luxury flats by a group of local activists, this historic garden is undergoing an extraordinary transformation through volunteer effort, with growing areas restored and an impressive programme of community activity celebrating and developing horticulture and heritage. We worked with the group to help strengthen their bid to Edinburgh Council to extend the lease and move towards taking full ownership of the site. We also supported them to incorporate as a SCIO and work up funding bids so that they continue improving the garden and employing a development worker whilst the business planning process was ongoing.
The group now has an exciting and robust plan in place, based firmly on addressing the needs and wants of people living in Granton. Volunteering is growing and a new post has been created.
New Luce is a small village in Wigtownshire, Dumfries and Galloway. We initially worked with the community to help local people decide how to invest the £250,000 yearly income due from local windfarms over a 25 year period. With a Community Action Plan in place, we were then tasked with producing an options appraisal on underused buildings in the village to determine how they could be used for local benefit and recommendations for the best way forward. A business plan then followed setting how the community would develop one of the buildings, the Kenmuir Arms, re-establishing a pub and restaurant, a post office, overnight accommodation and facilities (clothes drying, bike storage) for visitors to the village.
A successful bid was made to the Scottish Land Fund and the community was awarded £170,000 to purchase and redevelop the building. Plans are progressing and a development officer is in place to drive momentum.
The Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust
The Old Town in Edinburgh is a fragile community. The prioritisation of services for visitors and tourists has stripped away community based resources leaving residents feeling isolated. In response, The Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust wanted to create a community centre with a village hall feel, somewhere local people could connect, have a cup of tea and have some fun together. A section 75 agreement to operate part of a newly developed building on Cranston Street for community use presented itself but the Trust needed help to develop a strong business case. We worked with them to develop the concept, consult with the community, identify space usage that was both socially beneficial and commercially sustainable. The plan gave the Trust the competitive edge and they won the bid. We subsequently supported the working group to think through implementation and bids to the Big Lottery and Strengthening Communities to fund the initiative.
The Trust was successful in both bids and will be employing a complement of staff to operate the ‘The Crannie’ and develop activities there. The building is scheduled to open in autumn of 2019.
The Fraser Centre
Tranent in East Lothian is a growing town with new housing and a growing population but is at risk of becoming a dormitory town for people commuting to Edinburgh. There is a need to provide facilities for people to come together locally. The Fraser Centre was built in the 1920s as a film house but latterly fell into disuse and disrepair. The community has worked hard to re-establish the Centre as a focal point for the community but recognised it needed to be more than just a cinema. We worked with the Fraser Centre to understand local needs and demand and build a business case for a revamped Centre.
We liaised with a design team to develop a beautiful fit for purpose community hub for people of all ages in the town and supported the group to work up bids in the region of £2m. The group has successfully raised £2.7m funding and demolition and construction contracts have just been signed.
Wester Loch Ewe Trust
Inverasdale School was built in the 1870s but closed due to population decline (there is now one child in the village). Wester Loch Ewe is a dispersed area of three crofting communities north of Poolewe. Since the school closed, volunteers have been delivering services there. They offer a small café in the summer (with an average of 45 customers per day), a small museum relating to the Arctic Convoys that left from the loch and some room hire and events. Community Enterprise undertook a period of consultation in the community including stakeholder meetings, focus groups, a public event, survey (with a very large return) and many one to one interviews. This resulted in a feasibility study and finally a full business plan showing a future of the small school as a community space with a high quality adjacent bunkhouse.
Wester Loch Ewe Trust applied to the Scottish Land Fund to purchase the building from the local authority and land from a private owner. They were successful in receiving a £30,000 grant and are recruiting a member of staff to progress the development.
Newmains Community Trust
We worked for three years in Newmains, taking this organisation from a disparate group of interested and passionate individuals and community groups to an incorporated company with a strategic vision and plans for a £2 million community hub. This has involved a period of visioning, detailed community consultation, bid writing, strategic planning, governance support and capacity building.
The organisation is now a company and have secured funding for a beautiful building following a successful Lottery grant of £2.3m (the biggest single Big Lottery grant ever awarded).
Clydesdale Community Initiatives
CCI Scotland is a unique social enterprise, incorporating a charity that delivers exceptional person centred programmes to individuals with a range of support needs and a professional construction company. We have supported the organisation in a number of ways over some years, with market research, commercial positioning and business planning.
"Community Enterprise took the time to fully understand our needs rather than trying to fit us into a category that they were comfortable with. The final outcome was therefore a plan that was specific, relevant and immediately useful. Thank you."
Most recently we supported the planning, development and bid writing for their flagship new centre near Lanark.
Eskdalemuir is a village of 300 people in Dumfries and Galloway. We worked with them to strengthen and flesh out their local consultation with a view to securing funding. We held various public consultations and undertook commercial market research to consider the financial viability of a local community asset. They have refurbished and extended the facility with shop, social space, training space and events venue.
Most recently we supported the planning, development and bid writing for their flagship new centre near Lanark. They have been in touch again, and we have assisted them in strengthening their governance.
The crofting village of Carloway has some great assets but also some elements of decline. In recent years the shop and post office closed and the last public amenity to go was the school. We considered the nature of the community, its assets and challenges and a future aspiration. We worked closely with a design team who produced plans based on a brief founded on the research.
The Community Association now has a viable plan for the building agreed at an open village meeting. They are now proceeding with a Scottish Land Fund bid to purchase the asset and are seeking to engage us again for the next stage of the development. This relates to a detailed business plan for a community shop and a space with a café and tourist outlet.
Dunoon Burgh Hall
Dunoon has suffered from socio-economic change and is a town in need of regeneration. Local people saved and took over the Burgh Hall with a vision to turn it into a community owned arts venue. We have supported them with in-depth community needs analysis and market research to support funding applications including Big Lottery’s Community Assets funding.
The final piece of the funding jigsaw is now in place for this listed building, using Heritage Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, HIE and Big Lottery funding to create a facility that will be open to all and of benefit to all facilitating a step change for Dunoon.