Development Trusts Association Scotland Group Visit
The Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) is the national body for development trusts in Scotland. A membership organisation, DTAS’s vision is to have a successful development trust in every community that wants one.
DTAS organised a learning visit for their members to two host organisations: Glendale Gateway Trust in Wooler and Amble Development Trust, both in Northumberland.
These organisations were chosen because both have undertaken significant community-led town centre regeneration programmes, with, in the case of the Glendale Gateway Trust, innovative funding. The activities of the host organisations chime well with the work and plans of many DTAS members and the visit gave eight member organisations the opportunity to learn from more advanced projects.
The visiting team DTAS members Cupar Development Trust; Callander Community Development Trust; Peebles Community Trust; Creetown Initiative; Lanark Development Trust; Crieff Development Trust; Linlithgow Development Trust; Carloway Community Association.
A member from the Scottish Government Regeneration Team also joined the visit and two representatives from DTAS acted as hosts and guides during the trip.
Outcomes and benefits
The two host organisations are good examples of established community-led regeneration, able and willing to share their experience, both the positive stories, and the lessons learned.
Different funding mechanisms were explored and explained – including community bonds, and underwriting by local authorities; financial solutions which were new to the Scottish visitors.
The Scottish Government representative was impressed by what he saw and made aware of how local government in Scotland could be more supportive of community initiatives.
For DTAS members the visits were a great opportunity to learn from organisations with an established track record, and from each other.
The trip exceeded expectations, and feedback from participants indicated that they found the visit extremely relevant and useful.