Our overarching priority is to develop community capacity; everything that we do is about supporting coalfield communities.

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 local 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 local 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.

  • The Coalfields Longannet Initiative

The closure of Longannet Power Station will have significant impact on the communities of West Fife and Clackmannanshire and it is important that we work with the community organisations locally to rebuild community and capacity following the closure of Longannet and build on the work already undertaken through the Coalfields Community Futures programme.

The intention is to build on our success by encouraging use of local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a sustainable way. Our priority is to develop community capacity and create a platform for community engagement.

We will support local people and communities to identify for themselves the issues and opportunities in coalfield areas areas, deciding what to do about them, and being responsible for delivering the action that will make a difference.

The Role of CRT is to:

  • Be the ‘Community Builder’
  • Invovle residents, commuity groups, local business and staturtory agencies
  • Develop communication channels to ensure communication across communties – Facebook, newsletters, website, community notice board
  • Form a working group – a wider Development Trust to lead on community activity and lobby partners and agencies, particularly in relation to: developing renewable energy projects, transport initiatives and power station demolition.
  • Form a Youth Action Team to encourage young people to take part
  • Prepare and deliver the Longannet Communities Action Plan with working group

  • The 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.

  • The Coalfields Community Enterprise Support

The Coalfields Enterprise Programme aims to stimulate community enterprise and grow the social investment market in coalfield communities. It has three main objectives:

  • To help community organisations and social enterprises establish key priorities and an action plan responsive to their needs
  • Help community organisations to become more enterprising and develop opportunities to protect and grow their activities
  • Provide and broker the resources and services that are currently not available through statutory and third sector organisations within the coalfield areas – that are necessary to implement their plans.

The Coalfields Enterprise Programme will:

  • Provide a programme of hands-on development support, mentoring and training to newly established community organisations and social enterprises across Scotland’s coalfields.
  • Stimulate social enterprise solutions to address key challenges in coalfield communities.
  • Provide a mechanism to foster sustainability in CRT supported enterprises.