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Creetown Initiative Ltd (CI)


Facts & Figures

Organisation Name:Creetown Initiative Ltd (CI)
Individual Name:
Area Served:Creetown, Dumfries & Galloway, and Scotland wide.
Population:640
Sketch:

In 2000 a group of local people came together to address the need for affordable housing in the Creetown area. This led to the setting up in 2004 of the Creetown Initiative to address local needs and the delivery of a range of regeneration projects to support the local economy including: environmental, renewables, sport and healthy living, community facilities, art and education.  The Creetown Initiative Consultancy arm was created in 2006 when community groups elsewhere saw what was happening in Creetown and wanted assistance to carry out similar projects in their own area.  The consultancy has now worked with other groups on over 80 projects across Scotland.

Legal Form:

Company Limited by guarantee with Charitable Status

Volunteers:30
People Benefitting:All the community
Staff:9
Turnover:271,000
Earned Income:

£50,000 - £70,000

Assets:

The group owns and manages three buildings including the Creetown Initiatives office, The Waverley Hall, and the Creetown Enterprise Centre.

Value of assets:Our current assets total in excess of 100,000 pounds Sterling. This figure will rise on completion of the Enterprise Centre.

Roots & Links

Origins:

In 2000 a group of local people came together to examine options for providing affordable housing and regeneration projects in the Creetown area. Subsequently, in 2004 the Creetown Initiative was set up to address a range of local needs. In 2006 the initiative accessed funds to employ a full time project worker to take forward its regeneration plans. Since 2006 we have created 4 full-time posts, and 4 part-time or occasional posts and in 2009 became a social enterprise/development trust/community anchor.

Creetown Initiative Ltd currently has a core team of trained personnel with expertise in project implementation and management, as well as regeneration,  funding, community consultation, business planning and accountancy skills.

Governance:

 

Any local resident can be a member. The group currently has 8 board members who meet once a month to discuss the company’s business, ongoing and future projects as well as strict focus on the company’s finances.

 

Community Links:

CI works with the Community Council and also links with other community groups in the area on an informal basis.

External Links:

CI works closely with the Dumfries and Galloway Council, Southern Upland Partnership, Third Sector Interface, SEPA, SNH, Forestry Commission, DTAS and is currently working with other initiatives and community organisations in Selkirk, Edinburgh, Newton Stewart, Kirkcudbright, Gatehouse of Fleet, Stranraer and Moniaive.

Activities

Physical Hub:

Now based in offices in the centre of the village, Creetown Initiative has grown closer to the people it serves.  There is a constant flow of visitors to the office, people wanting to get involved, people with ideas, people simply looking for information.

Builds Local Capacity:

Creetown Initiative aims are the delivery of local projects which support young and older people, the local economy, the environment, renewables, sport and healthy living, community facilities, art and education.

Delivers Services:

Creetown Initiative aims are the delivery of local projects which support young and older people, the local economy, the environment, renewables, sport and healthy living, community facilities, art and education. Since 2006 we have secured funding in excess of £2 million for local projects, including a £200,000 play park redevelopment, a new sports pavilion, a muga, a car share scheme and a bike loan scheme. Over £200,000 has been secured for a range of projects in Balloch Wood, we have a bee conservation project, we manage the local youth club and the neighbouring towns (Newton Stewart) youth clubs. We publish a quarterly magazine, have a film making unit and are a Creative Place winner.

 

Develops/Manages Property:

The group now owns and manages three buildings including Creetown Initiatives office, The Waverley Hall, a community hall facility which supports a number of community groups and activities, and the Creetown Enterprise Centre, a former public house which is being developed to create a 29 bed bunk house, art and craft cooperative and base for our cycling, upcycling and car share scheme. This project is supported and funded by “Growing Community Assets” and will open Easter 2017.

Other:

Rather than relying solely on grants, Creetown Initiative is now using the expertise it has built up to undertake paid consultancy services across Scotland.  The main services we offer are fund raising, governance advice, feasibility studies, business planning, project management and community consultation.  We also offer support for rewewable projects and building projects.   The consultancy has now worked with other groups on over 80 projects across Scotland, including raising £1.9m for the Theatre Royal Dumfries, the £1.4m development of the former Johnston School in Kirkcudbright and the development of a new Development Trust for Stranraer which is aiming to create an Oyster Festival, designed to help regenerate the coastal town of Stranraer. Other consultancy work includes the setting up of youth groups, securing funds for sporting facilities, carrying-out community consultations and creating community action plans.ank and Linlithgow.

 

Main Achievements:

We have raised over £2m for local projects since 2006.

We have built a muga which is used by both local people and those from the wider area of Dumfries and Galloway. 50 people use this facility every week of the year, especially young people.

We have started a new youth group and carryout associated youth activities. An average 70 youngsters are being supported each week, enabling them to participate in activities. We now manage youth provision in the neighbouring town of Newton Stewart

We are supporting the development of a new community centre. Once developed Creetown will run its own community centre removing any commitment and liability from the council. We estimate that 150 people will use the centre each week.

We have delivered two a major arts project (Inspire and Creative Places) which enabled people of all ages the chance to participate in the arts. Over 1000 people participated in the various events.

The development of Balloch Wood, a community woodland project, restoring paths, building bridges, interpretation buildings, planting over 10,000 new trees, shrubs and plants. We estimate that over 5000 people visit the woodland each year. The woodland serves as a conservation project and provides people with the opportunity to get out doors, helping improve and maintain their health.

We run an up-cycling project designed to reduce landfill from clothing/textiles. We organise sewing work shops and clothes swap meetings

We are looking at developing a Nordic Walking project which will attract new visitors, whilst offering local people the chance to get fit and healthy.

We have carried out a domestic carbon reduction programme, which helped people reduce their energy bills. Over 100 households were supported, where they were helped to reduce their energy bills.

We have developed Creetown's King George V Playing Fields (£200k was secured to develop the park)

Started a community car sharing club. (£30,000 was secured to purchase two cars). A third (all Electric Car) has just been added to our fleet.

Developed a Wheels2Work scooter loan scheme, providing transport for people seeking employment or training across Dumfries & Galloway.

We are creating Creetown Enterprise Centre which will support new and existing jobs. Attract visitors and help boost the local economy. 

What Next

Biggest Challenge:

Working with the complex and challenging bureaucracy. Statutory bodies tend not to trust community groups, and yet we achieve so much.

Lessons Learned:

You can’t beat the system!

Aspirations:

Continue to develop the consultancy business to develop financial sustainability.

Contact

Name:Andrew Ward
Title:Projects Manager
Address Line 1: 54 St John Street
Address Line 2:DG8 7EL
City:Creetown
County:
Telephone:01671 820654
Fax:
Email:creetown@btconnect.com
Website URL:www.ferry-news.co.uk www.creetowninitiative.co.uk
District:Dumfries and Galloway