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June 22, 2021

Learning Exchange reopens for business

As the country slowly opens up again, many communities may be thinking that they can start to pick up the threads of ideas for new ventures that have been on hold since lockdown. One of the most effective ways to inspire new ideas is to visit somewhere where something of interest is happening. The Community Learning Exchange has long been a source of creativity and the mutual exchange of knowledge and has been enjoyed by hundreds of community groups. Today it is being relaunched to support Scotland’s Covid recovery. Both virtual and face to face learning exchanges are being supported.


Community Learning Exchange

SCA seeks to build levels of  mutual support across the sector – both by encouraging communities to support one another and by supporting our national networks and intermediaries to collaborate and to share resources to best effect. The Community Learning Exchange which is funded by the Scottish Government is one of the ways in which we seek to do this.

The Community Learning Exchange is a fantastic opportunity for communities who are planning new ventures or thinking about future possibilities, to learn from the experience of other communities. There is nothing so powerful as learning from your peers and the Learning Exchange offers an opportunity to do just that.

While the Community Learning Exchange is administered by Scottish Community Alliance, it is primarily intended as a resource to be shared by SCA’s member networks and offered to their members and partners. For this reason, all applications to the Exchange must come through one of SCA’s member networks

Prior to the pandemic, the Learning Exchange operated solely on a face-to-face basis with groups travelling the length and breadth of the country to make visits to communities where there was something of interest to see and learn about.

As the world moved online, so did the Learning Exchange. Virtual learning exchanges proved surprisingly effective and in many respects were considered to be more accessible, certainly cheaper to organise, and with a much reduced carbon footprint..  For these reasons we are now offering a blended form of the Community Learning Exchange which can include either virtual or face to face visits.


The Community Learning Exchange will cover up to 100% of the costs of the preparation and delivery time incurred by the host organisation. Virtual visits may be initiated by a community group approaching another, requesting that they ‘host’ a virtual visit. Alternatively, a community group with knowledge and experience to share, might choose to promote a virtual visit more widely. We are keen explore new and innovative ways that communities use to tell their stories in order to inspire others. To this end, the Exchange will fund proposals for planning and delivery for up to 13 hours at £35 per hour.

Face to face

The Exchange will fund up to 100% of the costs of a visit by members of one community to another community project up to a limit of £750 to include travel, accommodation and subsistence.