Regenerating trust in Scottish coalfield communities

30 Nov 2023

SSE partnered with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) to develop the CRT Trading and Sustainability Programme, which helped 10 leaders in organisations based in a Coalfield ward in Fife and East Ayrshire, Scotland. The programme played a key role in growing and engaging with the social enterprise movement and increased the impact of the Scottish Government’s Social Enterprise Strategy and Action Plan.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) works to build prosperity and opportunity in former coalfield communities in Scotland, England and Wales. It works with more than five hundred voluntary, community and social enterprises in these area helping organisations to develop, together with providing grants as part of its CRT Support programme. This programme was one of the five programmes the CRT offers across Britain to help improve the lives of those living in deprived areas of former coalfield communities.

The programme started on 2nd March 2023 and offered the leaders 8 learning sessions, 4 action learning sets (peer-based learning with other leaders in social enterprise) and ended with a celebration event at the Glasgow Westerwood Hotel on 22nd November 2023. All leaders received funding and support, widened their network and become more financially resilient through increasing their income and impact through trading.

Ross Bennet from the Primrose Community Trust and student on the programme shared:

The facilitators have been first class in helping us. They are positive, have lots of energy, help, and are always there when needed. The sessions we attended, the reading material, having access to more information, the networking, and the sharing of successful funding applications have all given me a greater understanding and appreciation of the strengths and importance of community charity and voluntary work. The course has also taught me what’s constant through all sizes of organisations. The need for a clear strategic vision and direction to sustain an evolving organisation with good communications and funding streams. The programme has not only benefitted me by enhancing my skills and knowledge, it has contributed to the overall effectiveness and sustainability of the Primrose Community Trust”.

Nicky Wilson, Vice-Chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust shared:

“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is dedicated to building prosperity and opportunity in former coalfield communities and it was a natural fit for us to partner with the School for Social Entrepreneurs as we share so many of the same goals. 

Tracey Muirhead, Director of the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Scotland shared:

“Having been brought up and now living in a former Coalfields Community in Fife, I am delighted that we have been able to partner with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in Scotland. The programme helped some incredible community leaders to access support and build their networks and I have no doubt they will go from strength to strength.