Our Town. Our Future. Our Choice.
To make Linlithgow a better place to live and work, through a community led plan of action which provides services, amenities and/or financial support to local initiatives. All across the UK communities large and small will face increasing challenges for decades to come. Challenges which need pro-active community action to ensure we can adapt. Challenges include reduced spending by local and national government on services and amenities in our community, reductions and restrictions on funding for local and voluntary action, the need to preserve and improve our environment, rising energy & food prices, a growing ageing population with increasing care and support needs, persistent health inequalities and rises in preventable diseases like diet-related illnesses; youth and long-term unemployment etc.
Whilst LCDT cannot solve all or any of these problems, we believe that active communities who think ahead and strive to take action now, will be the most successful in making some impact and adapting in a changing world. As a community we are well placed to meet these challenges through our environment, our people and our commitment to sustain Linlithgow as a great place to live and work.
To achieve our aim, we need to look at how we can become more self-sufficient, imaginative and enterprising to ensure we have greater control over our facilities and services. We believe in taking greater responsibility for making Linlithgow the sort of place we all want to live in.
- To build a Community that takes pride in and manages its local assets on behalf of the local community
- To capture and build community passion, enthusiasm, ideas and skills
- To ensure our work is financially and environmentally sustainable
- To work closely with local people and in partnership with local groups to complement and not to duplicate efforts already underway.
Today the town is especially popular with commuters, not only because of its excellent transport links with Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, but also because of the perceived quality of its schooling. West Lothian has one of the fastest growing and youngest populations in Scotland. The rate of increase of population from 1991 to 2011 was over 20%, higher than any other local authority and is projected to increase by 19% by 2035, compared with a national projected increase of 10%. The population aged under 16 is projected to increase by 13% over the 25 year period, however the largest area of growth will be in the older population, those of pensionable age, with a projected rise of 52%.
There are over 100 organisations in the town covering a range of interests, sports and leisure pursuits, catering for all age groups within the community. The proximity to the countryside and associated outdoor pursuits is another key attraction. However in spite of Linlithgow obviously being an attractive town to live in, we believe there are areas of need which would benefit from action. For example, there are people in the town who struggle to access suitable housing, or a job – or who do not have the sort of support they need to live independently and with dignity. We need more sports and leisure facilities to cope with increasing demand, and improved paths to encourage people from cars to walking cycling and generally living a healthier lifestyle .
Over the next 5-10 years we will focus on 5 priority areas implementing change through a range of projects. The following table outlines our priorities and some of the related projects already underway or being investigated:
Our Funding Strategy
Our funding strategy is designed to ensure we adhere to one of our key principles of ensuring our work is financially sustainable. Key features include:
- Being financially self-sufficient as an organisation by 2020
- Securing the necessary funding for projects through
- traditional grant based funding applications
- generating funds to supplement the loss of grant-based income to organisations in the town
- taking out loans – where appropriate
- Identifying renewable energy projects which would provide both energy and income
- Seeking capital-grant assisted projects where possible
- Delivering projects which break-even or make a profit which will be returned to the Trust for further investment locally.
- Always obtain value for money in all purchases
- Using local trades and services where possible and practical
The town’s residents created the Linlithgow Community Development Trust in 2012 and resulting projects are designed to benefit the local community of Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge. The Trust is a company limited by guarantee owned by members of the trust. Membership is open to everyone as defined within the Trust’s constitution. The Trust is charged with ensuring that projects are delivered and operated on a sustainable basis with any profits re-invested into the same community.
Membership is free and personal liability is restricted to £1. Full and Associate membership can be taken out by anyone who lives locally or who supports the aims of the trust.
Our success depends on involving people who share our vision, principles and who will stand up for our community. We ultimately aim to increase our membership to 20% of the population by 2020.
Our Operating Model
The Community Development Trust is an inclusive organisation founded on financial sustainability, civic pride and an aspiration to engender a flourishing community. As an independent, community-owned, managed and led company, we are able to become involved in tackling various community needs, bringing community groups together and leading or partnering with others on specific projects. We operate through a number of working groups, each focussing on a project priority. Each group is made up of at least one Board member who brings in skills and partnerships from the wider community. In our working groups we seek to capture the potential talent in the town that may not currently be being utilised.
- Regular newsflash articles direct to our current members via email
- Regular articles in the Black Bitch community newsletter
- Direct engagement with the community at local events such as the Farmers Market
- Meetings with different sectors of the community, for example meeting pupils at the Academy to discuss issues affecting young people of the town
- Facebook & Twitter social media
- Posters and leaflets
- Large scale community meetings
- Annual Social events
- Annual General Meeting
We will work with various partners to achieve our objectives including:
- Local people
- Local organisations and groups
- Local businesses
- Community Council
- West Lothian Council
- Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Town Management Group
- Local politicians and councillors
- MPs and MSPs
We would like to know what you think about the ideas in this overview. To see how you can comment or contribute to the work of the Trust, contact us, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We look forward to hearing from you.