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Neilston Development Trust

Facts & Figures

Organisation Name

Neilston Development Trust

People Benefiting

The whole community

Area Served

Neilston, East Renfrewshire




The trust has its roots in a community project, “Neilston: Space to Live”, that was set up by residents in 2004 to work for spatial and cultural renewal in Neilston. In November 2005, the closure of the only bank in Neilston was announced. After an unsuccessful community campaign against the closure, the community decided to invoke the Community Right to Buy provision of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. The bank was purchased by NDT, on behalf of the community. The acquisition of the bank building in November 2006 provided a base for the Trust, and a host to a wide range of services and activities.

Legal Form

Company Limited by guarantee with Charitable Status



Earned Income

Minimal at this stage, small amount from cafe


A detached two-storey villa previously used as a bank

Value of assets


Roots & Links


The trust has its roots in a community project, “Neilston: Space to Live”, that was set up by residents in 2004 to work for spatial and cultural renewal in Neilston. This grew into the Neilston Development Trust that was incorporated in 2006 to conform to Land Reform Act “Community Right to Buy” legal requirements.


The governance board is made up of local residents (currently eight) who are voted on to the board at annual AGM.

Community Links

Actively involved in Neilston Village Regeneration Group; active links to other local organisations, bi-annual newsletter delivered to every household.

External Links

Strong links to local authority through Neilston Village Regeneration Group; member of Development Trust Association Scotland; represented on Scotland Cultural Planning Steering Committee; working with Architecture and Design Scotland; member of Community Voices Network; strong links to Barrhead Housing Association; small amount of consultancy to other groups interested in the community right to buy process and NDT’s general approach


Physical Hub

The acquisition of the former bank in the village, in November 2006, has put the trust in an entirely new position in village life. It has enabled the recruitment of a team of volunteers who run a community cafe, and provides a base for the Trust itself.

Builds Local Capacity

Yes. Facilitate workshops in urban design and placemaking, run a cultural renewal programme and organize the annual Neilston Festival. Provide space for a range of workshops and capacity building activities to be provided to local people

Delivers Services

Community Café; organise the Neilston Live Festival (now in its fourth year) provide space to attract further services.

Develops/Manages Services

Yes. The old bank, now Neilston Development Trust premises.


Because Neilston’s register of interest to buy the bank did not meet timescales required by the Community Right to Buy legislation they were required to make a “late application”. This required going through a more rigorous process to demonstrate community support. 28% of the community turned out to vote– 97% of those that turned out voted yes to buying the old bank

Main Achievements

• Accessing Big Lottery’s Growing Community Assets funds and using the Land Reform Act, Community Right to Buy legislation to buy the old bank • Initiation and continuation of the cultural programme including the annual Neilston Festival • Establishing a community café in the new premises, run by volunteers • Moving towards a village design statement in collaboration with East Renfrewshire Council and enabling support from Architecture and Design Scotland

What Next

Biggest Challenge

Development of a sustainable business concept for the bank that is aligned to the vision of the Trust.

Lesson Learned

Achieving a balance between being able to respond quickly to opportunities as they emerge, whilst being realistic about capacity and what is possible.


• Development of the old bank as a cultural centre for the village • Long term sustainability including development of independent income streams, possibly from renewable energy, recycling and an ongoing cultural programme • Completion of urban design plan and a role in its implementation



Pauline Gallacher


Voluntary advisor

Address Line 1

84 Main Street

Address Line 2

G78 3EB