Skip to main content

Huntly and District Development Trust

Area of Operation:

Huntly and District, as defined by AB54 postcode
North East (Aberdeen & Grampian)

Number of Staff:
1.5 FTE

How We Started

Huntly Development Trust (HDT) has its roots in the work of the Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership (ATP) in Huntly. ATP was an alliance of three public sector partners - Communities Scotland, Scottish Enterprise Grampian and Aberdeenshire Council. The ATP programme integrated the resources of these partners with community aspirations to help participant towns become better places to live, work and visit. Between 2005 and the end of the ATP programme in 2008 ATP Huntly helped community groups carry out many different projects to improve the town, in line with the community’s 2020 vision for Huntly and its related action plan. These included projects to develop the town economy, improve the area’s environment, celebrate and promote the town’s rich heritage and culture and build community capacity. The ATP programme in Huntly successfully levered in funds from a variety of sources. In late 2007 it became clear that, despite its project plan being unfinished, changes at national level meant that the ATP programme would end in December 2008. In summer 2008, ATP Huntly consulted the community on its aspirations for post-ATP. The result was overwhelming support for continuation of Huntly and District-focused development work through establishment of a community-led organisation. Priority projects also emerged, such as regeneration of the town centre - particularly Huntly’s retail sector - and the creation of a follow up vehicle to ATP. From autumn 2008 to spring 2009 a group of active community members then worked to establish the follow up vehicle, Huntly Development Trust (HDT). They organised fact-finding visits, hosted facilitated workshops to learn how to best to set up such an organisation and arranged open community sessions to decide on priority projects. A major milestone was the decision in October 2008 by Aberdeenshire Council to offer HDT financial support until March 2011 for development of the organisation, on condition that HDT uses the time to move towards becoming financially independent. HDT has developed a business plan in order to fulfil that condition.

What We Do

The aim of Huntly Development Trust is, “to build a resilient, inclusive, enterprising Community capable of dealing with ongoing change”. HDT has structured its activities under the following six action themes, with examples of priority projects for the next two years noted under each one: 1. Developing Our Infrastructure 1.1. Develop Huntly's online presence 1.2. Improve town gateways, signage & interpretation 2. Developing Our Economy 2.1. Investigate feasibility, acquisition and development of a Huntly Hub 2.2. Investigate feasibility of small workshop unit development for local businesses 2.3. Develop and coordinate holiday, skills and sports activity packages 2.4. Investigate opportunities to develop the Huntly retail sector 3. Strengthening Our Society 3.1. Undertake mapping/identification of social support needs 4. Advancing Our Culture And Heritage 4.1. Draw up a town marketing plan 5. Promoting Sport In Our Community 5.1. Develop cycling in and around Huntly 5.2. Develop walking in and around Huntly 5.3. Investigate the feasibility of building a bunkhouse 6. Improving Our Environment 6.1. Draw up a town sustainability plan, inc. investigations into a Huntly Car Club, local CO2 offset scheme, use of hydropower from local rivers 6.2. Investigate opportunities for recycling services The project list comes from a successful application made to the LEADER programme in April 2009. As can be seen from the list, our plans combine a mix of feasibility studies and implementation. The rationale behind this approach is that HDT - as well as undertaking projects for community benefit - must identify ways to earn sustainable income to ensure it can continue into the future. Some of the feasibility work will involve engaging specialists but HDT is determined to use these moments as learning opportunities, allowing interested community members to get involved and learn new skills. This may initially cost more time, but in the long term will deliver HDT’s aim of a more resilient, inclusive, enterprising community capable of dealing with ongoing change.

Contact Details

Donald Boyd
Huntly Business Centre

01466 799416, 07788 438585
hdt [at] huntly [dot] net

Last Updated: Mon, 05/01/2015 - 10:01