Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

November 5, 2008

12 empowerment strategies compared

The Scottish Government`s Community Empowerment Action Plan will be published early next year (jointly with COSLA). It will be informed by a comparative study of 12 empowerment strategies presently operating around Scotland. It would be interesting to know how/why these communities were selected. See list


Gigha: The Isle of GiGHA is owned by The Isle of GIGHA Heritage Trust and has around 120 inhabitants. During the 20th Century the island had numerous owners and this caused problems in developing the area. In March of 2002 the islanders, with help from the National Lottery and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, purchased the Island for £4 million. £1 million of the grant money was in the form of a loan and this was paid back largely by selling Achamore House.

Cordale Housing Association: Cordale Housing Association was founded in 1993 on the principle that “we won’t build a better standard of housing for people to enjoy their poverty in”. In other words, whilst responding to poor quality housing conditions was and remains a fundamental objective, it was acknowledged that sustainable development would not be achieved unless equal priority was given to the longer-term vision of redressing the social, economic and environmental issues that disadvantaged and stigmatised local residents.

Coalfields Communities Federation: The Coalfields Communities Federation (CCF) is a representative body of communities within the Coalfield area of East Ayrshire and acts as a key mechanism to ensure that the community is fully integrated in the activities of East Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership (CPP). The CCF provides a forum through which the activities of the CPP can be made known and debated throughout the Coalfield area as well as ensuring that partnership activity reflects local needs. The CCF has representation on the CPP board and assists to inform strategies and future programmes promoted and funded by the CPP. The CCF is also practically involved in the design and realisation of local projects and initiatives.

Dundee Regeneration Forums: Nine local community plans cover the whole of Dundee and each area has identified priorities and decides how to spend a portion of local funding under the Fairer Scotland Fund.

North Ayrshire Estate Based Projects: Provides support for Tenants Organisations. RTO’s have been involved in setting priorities for environmental improvements.

Buchan Development Partnership: Buchan Development Partnership is an independent community led organisation established in 2000 to progress economic, social, and environmental development in the Buchan area of Aberdeenshire.

Orkney Community Councils: Orkney Islands Council provides each of its Community Councils with an annual grant to be spent at their discretion. In addition, financial assistance is provided through the Community Council Grant Scheme, Seedcorn funding, and Community Development Funding (CDF). This allows them to be an active coordinator and benefactor to their local community. The majority of Community Councils arrange the caretaking of burial grounds in each area with the costs being met by Orkney Islands Council.

East Lothian Community Councils: There are currently 20 very active Community Councils in East Lothian, encompassing the whole district. They vary considerably in size of electorates and in terms of area covered. The East Lothian Council Scheme for Community Councils is currently being reviewed and may result in a few changes.

Community Links: Are a voluntary organisation who provide independent advice for the Blantyre and Hamilton areas of South Lanarkshire. They provide support for community involvement work and make sure that communities can have their say in all regeneration issues. The organisation also provide community representatives and volunteers with support and development, ensuring they have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to carry out their roles effectively.

The Alness Initiative: A meeting in July 1995 called by the Alness Business Association agreed that a body be set up, and while being business led would also represent other Alness bodies. It’s purpose was to create a forum for the improvement of the Alness area as a place to do business, create employment, and develop business opportunities.

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership: DGHP (Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership) took over the housing stock from Dumfries and Galloway Council in April 2003, and is Scotland’s second largest registered social landlord. They own and manage some 10,000 homes across the Dumfries and Galloway region, and their goal is to provide the best affordable rented housing in Scotland. They work very closely with all tenants and others to ensure that they provide a range of services designed to improve and enhance the daily lives of communities, both now and in the future. DGHP is a not-for-profit organisation, so all resources are used for the benefit of tenants and the running of their business activities.

South Ayrshire Placemaking: Placemaking is an approach to revitalize public spaces. Placemaking is based on the premise that successful public spaces are lively, secure and distinctive places that function for the people who use them. The process encourages a sense of community ownership and support enabling those with a diverse range of interests to identify and achieve a common purpose for the benefit of all.