Development Trusts play an important role in the economic regeneration of towns across Scotland and there is a real appetite for this in Dalkeith. The community want to support businesses and explore opportunities for social enterprise, as well as sharing individual skills and knowledge.
In order to enhance Dalkeith’s economic wellbeing, One Dalkeith will therefore seek consensus on the local economy, adopting a “place-based” approach, focused on these three initial areas of activity:
One Dalkeith has secured a significant Scotland’s Improvement Districts (BIDS) seed corn grant. This will enable One Dalkeith to work in conjunction with the local business community to identify, plan and implement initiatives, actions and projects to benefit all participants.
This will enhance the area’s commercial product and service offerings. When and where possible this will involve businesses and market sectors working in collaboration and towards common goals often under a unifying theme, such as tourism, heritage, digital marketing or buying local.
A valuable contribution to the local economy can be made using social enterprise, which includes any enterprising activity with a social benefit. One Dalkeith will explore and support a range of ideas for this, including models of community ownership and stewardship of assets. The first such idea will be a sustainable energy generation project, to produce an income for community projects.
Making use of the land and channelling the financial benefits back to the community who live on it is in keeping with a traditional Gaelic principle, expressed in the word ‘Dùthchas’, that ‘people belong to places’. Other social enterprise initiatives could include using community purchasing power for food or energy.
The creation of One Dalkeith and its ongoing development is an example of the non-monetary value individuals bring to a community, through knowledge, connections, enthusiasm and much more. This “Social Capital” is among the aspects of a town recognised in the “place-based” approach being pursued in economic regeneration across Scotland.
These definitions ring-true with the desire expressed by individual members of the community, who said they want to explore ways to share skills and to help each other. One Dalkeith will therefore explore community-led models for this, for example, a Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) or a timebank, and by working in partnership with other organisations.
One Dalkeith will also strive to ensure a fair share of the regional skills programmes and training resulting from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal is based in Dalkeith.
© 2019. One Dalkeith – A Development Trust for Dalkeith
One Dalkeith is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) No. SC048018