The group met for the first time in November 2012 with support from Engage Renfrewshire and Big Lottery who helped fund local meeting places and initial set up. This group consisted of local activists, residents, representatives from community groups and the Community Council all keen to improve Renfrew.
The group decided from the beginning to take a community wide approach across all of Renfrew and harness all their skills and experiences to improve every part of the town for local residents.
In early 2013 we met again with representatives from Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) who explained the distinct character of a Scottish community development trust:
- Engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined community
- Independent and aiming for self-sufficiency
- Not-for-private profit
- Community-led and owned
- Actively Involved in partnerships between the community, voluntary, private and public sectors
The group also spoke to other Development Trusts in Paisley, Neilston and Dalmuir Park learning of how other trusts were involved in trying to deal with local energy consumption, fuel poverty or reducing our contribution to climate change, as well as how to engage with local people and develop effective community plans. In February 2013, with the support of Engage Renfrewshire and Renfrew Community Council, the team set up a Steering Group and started meeting and identifying a way ahead.
With support from Renfrewshire Council, in August 2013 Renfrew Development Trust were able to appoint Community Enterprise, a charity which provides consultancy support, to develop an independent consultation with the people of Renfrew and identify a community action plan for 10 years up to 2023. You can find out more about our action plan here
In May 2014, the team were successful with a Big Lottery Awards for All grant application – to help set-up the trust and promote the community action plan including the printing of leaflets to be distributed to over a thousand of those individuals that attended the Renfrew Gala day in Robertson Park in June 2014. An official launch of RDT action plan and a photographic exhibition later took place in Renfrew Town Hall in September 2014.
Members of the Renfrew Development Trust met with senior Renfrewshire Council Officials in July 2014 and agreed some short term joint working to try to deliver the early targets on heritage walks, public toilets, etc. They also appointed legal advisers and started the process of becoming a company limited by guarantee enshrining their community led objectives and aspirations in their community action plan in a new legal identity. They subsequently became a company in September 2014 and a registered Charity in early 2015.
In April 2015, the trust appointed their first employee, Bridgid Corr, and in June 2015 set up their own office at Anderson Business Centre.