Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC) is a community regeneration organisation based in the fragile area of Northmavine, Shetland, that has been in operation since the area gained Initiative at the Edge (IatE) status in 2004.
Continuing as the anchor organisation for Community Account Management (CAM), NCDC have progressed a number of projects that contribute to their aim of making “Northmavine a better place to live, work in or visit”.
This has included capital projects related to housing provision, purchasing and developing a shop and fuel pumps, investigating a micro-hydro scheme and levering in funding to develop facilities at the Collafirth pier. This latter project was key for all-access community events such as Yoal Racing, which already actively encourages the involvement of young people.
Through various rounds of consultation and research, NCDC are aware that anecdotally, young people (in particular teenagers) are the most neglected group in Northmavine in terms of social interaction and access to facilities.
It is for this reason that NCDC hope to undertake a project to build picnic benches with local teenagers in 2013. Young people will lead the project and carry out research to choose sites for the benches, responding to visitor survey feedback highlighting the lack of suitable seating in Northmavine. NCDC hope that the benches project can act as a catalyst from which other projects for teenagers can be developed.
Furthermore, in July 2013, NCDC are staging a fundraising community Festival – Glusstonberry – which will be particularly popular amongst young people and will provide volunteering opportunities for teenagers in the area.
As well as engaging Northmavine’s young folk and musicians, NCDC are working with Shetland College UHI and Mareel in order to make use of students engaged in the NC Music course and council supported evening classes in audio technology and live sound.
The beginning – HIE’s involvement / Mar a tha HIE an sàs
HIE has an established relationship with this social enterprise and for the last nine years has provided a range of support and advice, funding for particular capital projects and perhaps most importantly, revenue funding towards the cost of a full time Local Development Officer (LDO), who has been instrumental in progressing a range of priorities for the community.
Without funding for the development worker, it is highly unlikely that many of the projects would have progressed. While NCDC’s volunteer Board of Directors are extremely enthusiastic and active, they do largely delegate the day-to-day running of the charity and funding applications to their LDO, Maree Hay.
In the past four years, £700,000 of funding from various sources has been levered in for 22 different community projects, and it is unlikely that much of this would have been secured without the dedicated LDO resource.
The ongoing challenge for NCDC is to generate sufficient income to become self-sustaining. Core revenue funding from HIE and Shetland Islands Council expires in March 2014 and in the current financial year, NCDC are facing a £13,000 funding gap. It is hoped that fundraising through the Glusstonberry Festival (where they hope to sell 1,000 tickets) will contribute towards closing this gap.
HIE’s ongoing support will assist NCDC realise its growth potential and hopefully become self-sustaining.
This will enable them to continue carrying out key projects that will result in community growth, including developments targeted at young people in their fragile community.
Fiona Stirling, Tel. 01595 744927