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One Dalkeith Community Conversation

Beginning with a community café, and still going…

The initial conversation was broad and explored “What do you want in Dalkeith?”, and “How can you help?

One Dalkeith continued the conversation within the community about how a development trust can act as an empowering vehicle for people to bring about change. To create an opportunity for these conversations, One Dalkeith held a series of ‘community cafés’, each with its own theme.

These offered an opportunity to get together and meet new people, whilst contributing to the development of a consensus. Over four hundred people took part.

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Community members shared their time, skills, expertise and ideas at a range of events:

Arts Taster Community Café Focus:  Arts activities in Dalkeith Arts Centre
Dalkeith Activities Fair Focus:  Local groups & community facilities
St Andrew's Day Ceilidh Focus:  Local creativity and live performance
Woodburn Woodland Children's Litter Pick Focus:  Children's care for the environment
"Dark and Deadly Dalkeith" Heritage Tour Focus:  Connecting with Dalkeith's history
"Guerilla Gardening" Community Café Focus:  Enhancing community life
Litter Pick & Community Café Focus:  Caring for Dalkeith's Environment
Corn Exchange Forum Focus:  Local Business Networking
"Imagine Dalkeith" Community Café Focus:  Community ideas for Dalkeith

From Conversation to Action – a summary of these conversations:


Five areas of action emerged from these conversations. As a result, One Dalkeith will be running projects in each of these areas:

1. Arts, Culture & Heritage
2. Environment
3. Town Centre
4. Community Facilities
5. Economy

Some topics were mentioned many times across different contexts:

  • Opportunities for people to meet
  • Sharing skills and talents
  • Community spirit
  • Sense of place
  • Sense of belonging


One Dalkeith is setting out to work collaboratively with others and to facilitate new local connections. This approach was supported and reciprocated in feedback received from local community groups. Group members told One Dalkeith that when groups have a chance to connect there are benefits for the whole community… including community spirit and a sense of belonging.

People said the benefits of community groups connecting are:

Members of the community wanted One Dalkeith to function as a pro-active, innovative and self-empowering community organisation. One Dalkeith will initially seek funding to support projects, which may require employing people, but in the long-term will pursue an enterprise model. This will enable One Dalkeith to be self-sufficient, creating wealth and keeping it in Dalkeith.

One Dalkeith also consulted the ‘Development Trusts Association Scotland’ (DTAS) and ‘Midlothian Voluntary Action’ (MVA) for professional advice, as well as other Midlothian Development Trusts and ‘Neilston Development Trust’ for additional practical advice.

© 2019. One Dalkeith – A Development Trust for Dalkeith

One Dalkeith is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) No. SC048018