Please send me SCA's fortnightly briefing:

Inverclyde Community Development Trust – known locally as ‘The Trust’

Facts & Figures

Organisation Name

Inverclyde Community Development Trust – known locally as ‘The Trust’

People Benefiting

The whole of Inverclyde: inc. elderly people, young people and unemployed people.

Area Served

Inverclyde – inc. Greenock, Port Glasgow, Gourock and Wemyss Bay


79,500 … and still falling


The Trust was established in 1996, following previous work by local organisations from the late 80’s to support people made unemployed by the shipyard closures. Its Mission: to create jobs; remove obstacles; provide services. It has grown into a community enterprise that employs over 100 local people, with a turnover of £3 million, and provides training, care and regeneration services to community and business across Inverclyde. The Trust owns and operates a number of premises and community hubs throughout the area, with central bases in Greenock and Port Glasgow. It remains firmly rooted in the community, and committed to meeting the needs and aspirations of local people, and by giving the community a voice The Trust has changed the landscape of regeneration.

Legal Form

Company limited by guarantee with charitable status





Earned Income

50 – 60% of the Trust’s income is earned from contracts – likely to increase towards 70%


The Trust owns Port Glasgow Business Centre and the

Value of assets

Approx. £1 million

Roots & Links


In 1987 Greenock Employment Action Group was formed, following the shipyard closures, by unemployed local people to create jobs: it developed a range of community enterprise activities. In 1996 it merged with smaller organisations to form the Trust, with the ‘Mission’ to: create jobs; remove obstacles; provide services. A long-term, flexible approach to working with this Mission, and a consistent staff team, has turned it into the largest social/community enterprise in the area.


Its Board of Management is drawn from: • Inverclyde Community Council Forum • the Disability Forum • the community • local advisory groups • Inverclyde Council

Community Links

Its provides services to many local people, while 98% of its staff live locally. Its Board is drawn from the community, and local advisory groups support its programmes.

External Links

Locally/regional organisations: • CVS Inverclyde • Inverclyde Community Planning Partnership • Inverclyde Council • Riverside Inverclyde – Urban Regeneration Company National/ UK/ European organisations: • ESEP: European Structural Fund Programme • Job Centre Plus • Scottish Government (Communities Scotland) • Skills Development Scotland • Volunteer Development Scotland National Community Networks: • Development Trust Association Scotland – on the Board • Local People Leading – supporting organisation


Physical Hub

Centres: • Westburn Centre, Greenock – inc. Volunteer Centre Inverclyde • 16 Nicolson Street, Greenock • Port Glasgow Business Centre • Port Glasgow Resources Centre • Port Glasgow Regeneration Centre – 7 ½ John Wood Street

Builds Local Capacity

Trust Employability Services: the Trust’s Mission Statement highlights the importance of enhancing the skills and learning of local people. It provides training for 1000+ people annually. This includes learning skills for customer services, care work and the construction industry, as well as a Community Apprenticeship Programme and a Community Learning and Development programme (up to degree level). Examples of the training programmes include: Training for Project Management: a Community Activate learning programme has been developed to support people in gaining management skills. Wider Role programme: The Trust is working with the Scottish Government and four Housing Associations to develop employment and training projects in gardening, providing financial advice and youth work. Basic skills training – through Job Centre Plus funding, the Trust is working with people furthest from the labour market. It has established training bays for kitchen and bathroom re-fitting, and is now managing refurbishment programmes in the housing and public sectors. Volunteer Centre Inverclyde: supports volunteering for all ages and backgrounds including work with young people and a befriending programme – see Trust Regeneration Services: provides support and resources for businesses and the community, including advice, premises and accounting services. Examples of regeneration projects include: ‘7 ½ John Wood Street’ – the Port Glasgow Community Regeneration Centre: the area has very high levels of deprivation, so the Trust and partners have established a Community Futures plan and a range of projects: • Regeneration of Port Glasgow’s Coronation Park: working towards community ownership of this greenspace. • Culture, heritage and regeneration work: using local history and culture as a tool for regeneration, for example, ‘the Spencer Paintings’ of Port Glasgow and Clydeside, now in the Imperial War Museum, have been reproduced and used within the Centre. • Business support: The Centre has piloted with the New Economics Foundation and the Civic Trust a business support programme, Bizz Fizz – see

Delivers Services

Trust Care Services: The Trust provides services for housebound and elderly people including dementia care, befriending and frozen meals – see ‘Builds Local Capacity’ above for other services.

Develops/Manages Services

Provides a range of premises for third and private sectors.

Main Achievements

Credibility with both funders and the local community: we’ve established a reputation for working at the ‘interface’ with the community, where other organisations coming from ‘outside’ can’t. We’re community-driven, here for the long-term, and can manage a £3 million turnover. And we’ve got 20 years of references to back this up … can other organisations from outside the area provide the same quality of CV? Port Glasgow regeneration project: an innovative approach bringing together cultural heritage, business development and greenspaces for regeneration – see Achieving the ‘Investors in People’ Standard: our Board has pushed this agenda and it now sets the tone of the organisation – see People’s stories: we’ve had many people who’ve learnt through our programmes and moved into work. For instance, a couple of men from a chaotic, tough background, who originally joined a thirteen week skills programme, have now been with us for a year developing their skills in painting and decorating. They are earning a living, doing a bloody good job and would be hard to replace – that’s what we’re ‘in business’ for.

What Next

Biggest Challenge

Maintaining our income: in 2010 the Scottish Government will have removed ring-fencing from all local authority funding: we’ll have to compete with the local authority itself for contracts. And Fairer Scotland funding for Inverclyde, the source of many contracts, is dropping from £6m to 4.5m … while the economy is moving into recession. Working with funding changes: funding keeps changing in cycles of 3-5 years. Community Regeneration funding ended in March 2008, European funding, December 2007. Now we have Fairer Scotland, and clarity on European funding, so we’re working with the Community Planning Partnership, writing bids, and delivering programmes. We’re looking to develop a mixture of income sources to avoid funding gaps.

Lesson Learned

Working with the local authority: they need us and we need them. We give a voice to the community in the changing landscape of regeneration. Continuity and succession planning: having an ongoing, strong staff team is crucial. Both myself (Chief Executive) and my depute have been here since the start (1987). All our managers have, or will haved, achieved SVQ level 4 in programme management. We want to use such training to make us ‘extra fit for purpose’. Staying rooted in the community: I live in this community: my son leads the Trust’s work in Port Glasgow: the Chair of the Board was my boss 20 years ago in the local authority. This depth of local understanding delivers. It works when it clearly has its roots in the community. The organisation must not lose this despite its size and turnover – it must not move to a quasi-business model. We need a Board that is vibrant and an organisation that values ‘its roots and its routes’. Stay flexible: like the old ad back in the 70s for the ‘Access credit card … “your flexible friend”.


It will never finish: there won’t be an end to this organisation. I’m 58 and will retire when I’m 65: already I’m actively talking to people about what next and who next.



Jim Bristow


Chief Executive, The T

Address Line 1

Westburn Centre

Address Line 2

175 Dalrymple St


Greenock, PA15 1JZ




01475 730061