September 21, 2016
Numbers stack up
In 2002, Senscot held a few events around the country to gauge whether there was any appetite to set up a new national umbrella body for development trusts. Encouraged by what they found, they pulled together a mix of start-up funding and Development Trusts Association Scotland was launched. Since then the presence of a development trust has become a familiar feature in hundreds of communities across the country and DTAS grown accordingly. The results of its recent membership survey shed new light on this fast-growing and potent grass roots movement.
In its most recent membership survey, Development Trusts Association (DTA) Scotland, the member organisation for development trusts in Scotland, has found that communities (in the form of development trusts) directly contribute over £25million towards regeneration activity in Scotland.
The results come as development trusts, community groups and representatives gather for the 13th annual DTAS conference in at the Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld on the 4th and 5th of September.
Commenting ahead of the Conference, Ian Cooke, Director of DTA Scotland said:
“As the development trust movement in Scotland continues to grow and mature, more and more people are becoming aware of the contribution that these grassroots organisations can make towards their local economies and the Scottish Government’s place-making agenda.
“Perhaps less well known, is the amount of voluntary commitment it takes to make all this happen. As our survey shows, volunteer hours in this sector really do add up, and it is important to recognise the outstanding contribution which local people make to regeneration activity.
“What is even more remarkable, is that development trusts have community owned assets with an aggregated worth of £75.6million. In addition, many of our members report that they are currently involved in asset acquisition, or, in some cases, converting leases into asset ownership.
“With new community rights and funding, there has never been a better time for community-led regeneration, as more and more communities take control of their future through the acquisition and management of assets.”
Other notable headlines from the survey include:
• 750 employees
• 2,002 volunteer board members
• Aggregated turnover of £46.8million, 42% of which is earned through trading and other income generation streams
• £75.6million worth of assets, owned in a mix of housing, land, forestry, buildings, renewables and others
Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart said:
“Community development trusts throughout Scotland are doing great work helping communities change and improve their own local areas. And these survey results underline the energy, commitment and wider contribution they are bringing to our communities.
“I would like to thank DTAS for giving these community organisations the confidence and support they need to carry out all the great work they are doing, helping to tackle inequalities and playing their part in creating a fairer Scotland.”
Entitled “Climate Change, Localism & Social Justice”, DTA Scotland’s Conference brought together Scotland’s experts on community-led responses to climate change and regeneration, along with the many development trusts and community bodies seeking to deliver innovative and sustainable change on the ground.
Once again a complete sell-out, the Conference provided an invaluable forum for the sharing of ideas, experience and good practice.