Coalfields Community Futures (Scotland)

This programme involves supporting ex-mining communities that have not benefited substantially from external funding from the Trust and partner funders.


What is it about? Community Futures is an approach to local community planning and sustainable community development that aims to encourage active citizenship and build local democracy.  CRT recognises that some communities have found it difficult to secure a fair share of the funding that has been channelled through it and other grant makers during the last 15 years. CRT and other funders have found that in these ‘cold spots’ community leadership, participation, structures, networks and group activity is relatively weak.  In these areas CRT has worked in partnership to:

  • Build on existing processes of community action research to identify local needs and priorities, using residents as co-researchers;
  • Work with residents and groups to develop a common sense of purpose and a deliverable community action plan;
  • Make use of a small fund for each area, which through a participatory budgeting process was allocated by residents to initiate small-scale improvements;
  • Provide tailored capacity building support, working with residents and groups to establish skills/structures and secure external funding for agreed projects;
  • Where possible support the development of new community ‘anchor’ organisations to provide a focus or hub for continued community regeneration;
  • Help organisations to ‘make the right connections’ by facilitating them to develop relationships with other successful organisations to encourage learning, pooling of resources and on-going mentoring and support.

What communities are involved? Since 2011 the following communities have developed a 5 year Coalfields Community Futures Action Plan:

To date the Programme has covered 20 communities with a joint population of over 99,000.

  • 44 people have been trained in Community Action Planning and employed as Community Agents
  • About 188 people have been involved in local steering groups
  • Over 5,300 households returned Community Views Surveys
  • 4,632 people attended Community Open Days 

Check out the latest news for each community by following the link for the appropriate actino plan. To find out more about the programme in general consult the March 2014 newsletter, or  contact [email protected].

Coalfields Regeneration School

Since establishing its Coalfields Community Challenge programme in 2011 to address the continuing issue of poor employment prospects in former coalfields areas, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has identified a significant element of Third Sector, community and voluntary organisations which maintain a reliance on grant funding. A lack of knowledge in key areas means that such organisations do not have the capacity to embrace the entrepreneurial culture which is currently shaping Scotland’s Third Sector, and are consequently unable to make the progression towards achieving sustainability. The Coalfields Regeneration School was designed to address those skills gaps which are an impediment to organisations long term sustainability. First delivered in 2012, the School comprises a series of wokshops, project visits and activities centred around topics of key importance to developing organisations. The School is delivered to a small number of participating groups who work together throughout, and for whom the programme can be specifically tailored. Topics covered in the 2014/15 School included leadership, roles and responsibilities, governance and structure, funding and finance, marketing, social media and presentation skills.

Coalfields Regeneration Schools 2016

The 2016 Schools will take place in Kirkconnel and Kelloholm and East Lothian once a fortnight for five days followed by a graduation event, and deliver a programme of training and development for a small number of enterprising organisations within the voluntary and community sector. The School will support the participating organisations in working towards a common goal of long term sustainability. Additionally, for the 2016 Schools will be the opportunity for participants to qualify for a small investment award (up to £3k) to address identified barriers to their organisation’s development (subject to the satisfaction of qualifying criteria and where applicable the completion of project specific targets). Participating organisations will be expected to commit two representatives to the School for the duration of the Programme. The School will consist of workshops and project visits at venues selected according to the location of participating groups. A graduation ceremony will take place on completion of the School at which participants will be invited to review their progress and present their organisation’s sustainability strategy.

Who can take part?

The 2016 Coalfields Regeneration Schools are open to organisations which are constituted as a charity, not for profit group or a social enterprise. The project must be delivered within one or more eligible coalfields wards and your organisation must also provide a bank statement and accounts. The School is not intended for larger organisations such as those with an unrestricted income exceeding £100kpa. Previous recipients of CRT funding will not be excluded; however, priority consideration will be given to new applicants.

Coalfields Community Investment Programme (Scotland)

The Coalfields Community Investment Programme supports activities delivered by community and voluntary organisations working in Scotland’s coalfield communities.  Investments can be capital and/or revenue awards for charitable groups, not for profit organisations or social enterprises working to support regeneration activity in their areas.

The Programme is a small fund created to support activities that tackle some of the key challenges that still remain in Coalfield Communities. The fund is open to projects that deliver in eligible Coalfield Communities that will make a positive contribution to addressing the following themes:

Skills: Growing the skills of people in order to increase their opportunities.

Employment: Developing pathways to increase the number of people in work.

Health: Supporting activities that improve the health and wellbeing of all age groups.

Priority consideration will be given to projects that complement the delivery activities of CRT, such as the Coalfields Community Futures Programme and the Coalfields Enterprise Programme.

Investments will only be considered for projects that can demonstrate they will be:

Soon: Any award must be spent within one year of being received.

Seen: Projects must deliver a tangible benefit to the community.

Successful: Projects must be able to demonstrate they fit one or more of the CRT funding themes.

Awards will be offered through the Coalfields Small Grants   programme. It offers £500 to £5,000 (average award will be in the region of £3,000) for eligible organisations operating in eligible coalfield areas.

Who Can Apply?

Applications are welcomed from new or existing groups that are based or can evidence significant benefit to eligible coalfields communities.  Priority will be given to new groups.

When can I apply?

The deadlines for applications to the 2016/17 Community Investment Programme are:

  • 25 May 2016
  • 17 August 2016
  • 23 November 2016 (Need to be updated??)

How do I apply?

In the first instance call the Alloa Office on 01259 272127 and one of our Development Team will take you through the process.


For more information contact [email protected]

Coalfields Capacity Building (Scotland)

‘More Than Just a Funder’ 

CRT recognises that grants alone are not a solution for coalfield communities – we are a key player facilitating the development of community capacity.

We encourage and support small voluntary and community groups to expand their scope, build new partnerships, and tackle more ambitious projects within their communities.

Development Support

CRT, in Scotland has limited resources and work will be prioritised to help organisations operating in Coalfield Communities that have difficulty in fundraising, such as:

  • Smaller Community Groups and Social Enterprises
  • With no paid workers
  • Who are isolated
  • Who are not working with existing networks, forums or other intermediaries and partner agencies

We will not:

  • Write funding applications, but we will offer advice and help
  • Offer free support to statutory organisations, although these organisations can contact us for information on commissioning our services
  • Help individuals or non-charitable organisations

Our Offer

The Development Team will:

  • Provide one to one capacity building support in relation to funding
  • Assist in preparation of development/action plans
  • Help establish funding requirements and develop sustainable funding strategies
  • Involve specialised trainers and community organisations to develop and co-ordinate a programme of training workshops and seminars
  • Increase awareness and encourage use of mainstream support agencies