Case Studies: Feasibility
Our work supports the growth of confident, creative, financially stable community organisations.
Baldernock Development Trust
Baldernock is a stunning parish to the north of Glasgow, home of the only rural primary school in East Dunbartonshire. Fear of losing the school and therefore the heart of the community, motivated residents to find a way of securing the area’s future by developing better community space, potentially on the school grounds which could also be used by pupils. We undertook a feasibility study, connecting with local people to explore a way forward. We determined the initial proposal was not viable but put forward an alternative solution: developing a bespoke nursery at the school site and improving the local church hall. This involved developing partnerships with the Kirk Session and the community led nursery. We developed a strategic plan for the local Development Trust, setting out its broad aims and how it will work with others in the local area and build resources to develop the community.
Creiff Community Trust
Crieff Community Trust - Crieff’s Community Action Plan identified empty town buildings as a major priority and the Trust commissioned us to carry out an options appraisal on what could be done with these buildings. We consulted with the community, spoke to a range of stakeholders and carried out market research to determine the best way forward. Options were presented to the Board with a series of recommendations to consider.
Since producing the appraisal, we have continued to work with the Trust to develop some of the ideas which emerged, including a co-working hub. We developed a business plan for this and helped secure kick start funding for premises, staff and fit out. The project is being launched in spring/ summer of 2018. Other recommendations have also been acted on and there is now collaboration between the Trust, the Local Authority and a local housing association to develop a derelict building on the High Street into housing and affordable visitor accommodation.
Since 2013, we have worked with Life Care Edinburgh and The Broomhouse Centre to explore the feasibility of an innovative, consortia partnership project called Vintage Vibes. The work involved market research and business planning, followed on by assistance with Big Lottery funding applications stage 1 and 2.
“I would highly recommend the excellent work of Community Enterprise - very knowledgeable about the sector in which we operate and have greatly supported and assisted the partnership project in which we are engaged. Professional, reliable and highly responsive to our needs, giving clear pointers and great back-up. You know you are in good hands when you have Community Enterprise alongside you.”
As a result of this work, the Consortia were awarded £350,000 from the Big Lottery for the first 4 years of the service. Vintage Vibes will provide long term visiting and friendship services across Edinburgh, recruit 250 volunteers and engage with 300 socially isolated people over 60 years old.
Iona Village Hall
We have been supporting the committee of the Iona Village hall for some years. Over that time we have undertaken detailed community consultation, completed an in-depth feasibility study and supported them with legal restructuring. We spent 6 months researching the needs on the island and how this could be met in a new centre, and then worked alongside an architect led design team.
“Community Enterprise have been fantastic ambassadors for our project locally, which had the potential to be quite sensitive and emotive. They relate exceptionally well to people and have helped us to achieve an enormous amount so far. They have been personable, helpful, resourceful (when experiencing travel problems first hand!) and a great team of advisers. They have been supportive and informative at all times. We have found Community Enterprise to have all the professionalism and expertise needed but with added 'heart' - a team that are passionate about community development. Thank you.”
The organisation has a fully costed business plan with a proposal of a new village hall that will meet the cultural, and social needs of the island while generating income beyond tourism. We evaluate all our work and the representative of Iona scored us 10/10 for quality and professionalism. They recently secured £903,888 from the Big Lottery and £100,000 from The Robertson Trust with other match funders lined up.
Larkhall Community Growers
This group is rooted in a church in Larkhall with a vision to work alongside local people to meet local need. Their name refers to growing produce but also to growing people. Community Enterprise helped them to consider the creation of an enterprise and creativity hub by testing the demand and need for this within the town. Open meetings, conversations and debate along with market research took place.
The concept of working in partnership with others to deliver new services from the recently closed primary school emerged as a strong option. They weighed up the risks and decided to proceed with their project. They felt the work we did was “crucial to the progress of this venture” and has enabled them to set up a new charity and successfully take over a smaller building in Larkhall for community benefit.
Move on support vulnerable people in Glasgow with a range of services. They commissioned specialists from England to consider the feasibility of a wood recycling business but there was an issue of potential conflict of interest due to a likely partnership. As a result they asked Community Enterprise to provide a “devil’s advocate” assessment of the feasibility study which we did in detail.
South Loch Aweside Community Company
This Development Trust in this remote rural area wanted to test whether to take on the old school as an asset for the community. We tested this with the local community who were concerned with displacement with the village hall. The site is difficult, not least due to midgies but a significant number of potential projects emerged during the research.
The group has decided to focus on the purchase of a community woodland and the roll out of community broadband as the better priorities.