Conference to explore community development

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will host a strategic Community Development Conference in October.

It will allow a range of agencies responsible for delivering community economic development work to present and coordinate service remits, strategies and objectives with sectoral stakeholders and interested-parties.

The nature of development work that serves communities across the islands ‘on the ground’ has become increasingly complex – and this Conference, which takes place on Wednesday 10th October, will seek to gain a greater understanding of the community development landscape and partners’ objectives for the coming period. The conference will focus on moving the agenda forward in a cohesive manner to ensure that duplication of resources across agencies is avoided. It will put a greater focus on the wider community development agenda and begin to articulate an integrated strategy, with a coordinated approach to shared resources and effort.

Among the organisations that it is hoped will participate are: Community Landowners; Comhairle Members and CnES service representatives Highlands and Islands Enterprise; the Third-sector Interface; and other frontline community-facing economic development representatives such as the Community Development Finance Association.

Cllr Archie Campbell, the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee Chair said:

“With the ongoing implementation of our Community Gateway service the Comhairle has worked closely with partner agencies and stakeholders to avoid duplication of effort.

A better integrated approach is now desirable going forward however – and in hosting this Conference the Comhairle proposes that a more formal strategic approach to the wider community economic development agenda is put in place over the coming period.”

The Comhairle’s community development service has been delivering significant benefits to local communities since 2004 - and has been instrumental over the past period in delivering a range of the Comhairle’s community capital grants programme.