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December 8, 2010

Bring the experts to you

Visiting other communities and finding out how they’ve tackled the same problems as you is one of the best ways of getting started – and small grants are available from any of the networks involved in LPL to help with the costs. But sometimes the exchange of ideas works better in reverse – as the residents of Cambusbarron found out

Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer

COMMUNITY-spirited Stirling residents gathered in Cambusbarron Church Hall recently to thrash out ideas on how to help shape the area’s future. The inaugural summit brought directors and representatives from Cambusbarron, Gargunnock, Fintry, Thornhill, Kilmadock, and Killearn development trusts together under one roof. Cambusbarron’s committee was set up in July this year with support from the ‘Small Town and Rural Development Group’, who assist other grassroots good causes looking to get a host of projects off the ground.

A series of community triumphs from elsewhere came under the microscope during the evening-long forum. Among those discussed were the Kilmadock Information and Heritage Centre in Doune, the Thornhill out-of-school care kids’ club, Fintry’s renewable energy and insulation project, the £130,000 raised towards ownership and development of Gargunnock community centre, Killearn paths group and the village’s ‘Wee Green’ market.

Roddy Ross, a director of the Cambusbarron community development trust, described the meeting as an “enlightening” experience. He continued: “All the projects that were discussed came about through a combination of community leadership and volunteer effort… it’s an example of central government’s ‘Big Society’ idea right here in Stirling.”

Daye Tucker, the chair of the Killearn community futures development company, said: “We all feel very privileged to be part of this initiative and we’re delighted that we’ve all been brought together under one roof.“This will help to sustain local development trusts and make them even more effective in the future.”

The trusts are community-owned companies with charitable status. Membership is open to all who live or work within a given catchment area, with several directors elected to steer their charges in the right direction.

Cambusbarron’s version currently boasts 117 members. Chair Lesley Campbell said: “As the newest addition to the community trust movement in Stirling, we were delighted to meet up with the ‘old hands’ and share stories. “We hope that this will herald the start of lots more networking – the Fintry branch have already offered to host another evening in the new year.”

For more information go to or contact Lesley on