Case Studies: Community Plans
Our work supports the growth of confident, creative, financially stable community organisations.
Cambusbarron Community Council
We were commissioned by the Community Council to produce a 20 year action plan for Cambusbarron, an attractive village on the outskirts of Stirling. Income from two onshore windfarms will provide long term funding opportunities for the area and residents wanted to direct this towards priority projects and initiatives locally. The work was supported through Local Energy Scotland funded by the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).
We carried out a range of research tasks to enable the identification of key themes and priorities for the community. Over 450 people in the village took part and five clear themes were identified: The Great Outdoors, Activities for All Generations, Improved Infrastructure, Connected Cambusbarron and Community Resources. A range of projects were proposed under each theme to be delivered in the short, medium and long term.
Woolfords, Achengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation was set up several years ago, stimulated by income from local wind farm community benefit funding. As its first community action plan was coming to an end, WAT IF? wanted to produce a second, more ambitious and strategic version. Of particular interest was wider consultation to ensure all neighbourhoods in the catchment area had their say and a better understanding of hidden and unmet needs locally so that the Foundation could deliver a comprehensive programme with high impact, making a real difference to the lives of local people. We carried out door to door surveying, attended the community café, held focus groups and open meetings as well as desk top research about the area and worked closely with the Trustees to develop a 5 year action plan.
We were able to produce the kind of plan the Foundation felt it could really get behind with clearly set out and achievable short to long term aims which will meet the needs of different demographics within the community. This included smaller, ‘quick wins’ such as floodlights at the sports ground to extend usage in the winter months, to more ambitious projects including a community fuel and tool depot with workshop space for intergenerational use. The plan was completed in March 2018 and work is already underway.
Renfrew Development Trust
Renfrew Development Trust was newly set up in 2013 by a group of local residents keen to improve the town. Its first action was to appoint us to develop a community action plan for the area so they had a clear vision and mandate going forwards. Working with the Trust, we worked to reach people who wouldn’t typically engage in this type of project using open conversations, focus groups and drop in surgeries as well as on-line methods including Facebook, a survey and a photography competition.
A high level 10 year community action plan detailing the what, when, where and who was agreed and this was developed into an attractive, easy to read flyer which was distributed throughout the community. The plan enabled the Trust to secure office premises and employ its first member of staff and new projects are being developed.
Oxton and Channelkirk Community Council
We undertook a period of detailed community based research in the rural village of Oxton. We delivered open days, focus groups, street work with young people, a wide ranging community survey, stakeholder consultation and a well-attended public event. The organisation received a Community Action Plan highlighting the focus for short, medium and long term plans for the village to maximise the benefit of two wind farms. They are now developing a project to upgrade the community-owned village hall. A copy of the document was delivered to every house.
“Community Enterprise helped us put together our first ever community action plan a few years ago – a plan that is essential these days if you are looking to secure funding for projects. To be honest, they didn’t just help us, they held our hand throughout the process and, at the end of the project, together we had produced a very sleek and understandable action plan for our village, a plan that we still use a great deal today. We thoroughly recommend Community Enterprise and we have done so to other villages over the years who saw our plan and asked how they might also put together an action plan for their village. On behalf of Oxton & Channelkirk Community Council”.
Since this work, the organisation has established a number of small environmental improvements and this plan led to the development of a new village hall. Further funding was secured to develop the idea, which now has planning and is entering into the fundraising stage.