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WAT IF (Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation)

Area of Operation:

Within a 5km radius of Stallashaw Moss in rual South Lanarkshire and West Lothian
Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley

Number of Staff:

How We Started

WAT IF? Background

In February 2011, a group of local residents formed the WAT Improvement Group as a formally constituted, “not for profit” organisation without charitable status.

The objectives of the original group were to carry out small-scale projects and improve the environs of the area to:

• Improve the conditions of life for the community

• Promote the advancement of civic responsibility and community development

• Investigate the formation of a Community Development Trust to attract funding for sustainable community projects.

Membership is open to all persons who accept the aims of the organisation and reside in Woolfords, Auchengray, Tarbrax or its environs.

Current legal status

The Steering Group was set up in September 2011 and first approached the Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) for advice in November 2011.

In 2012, the Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation (known as WAT IF?), was established. The Trust was established as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) on 28 November 2012. The SCIO consists of up to 9 Elected Charity Trustees who form the Board and, initially, up to 20 Committee Members. Committee Members are drawn from local residents, groups, workers and businesses.

What We Do

The WAT IF? area covers the three rural villages of Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax, along with several small hamlets and outlying settlements. 90% of the area is in South Lanarkshire, with 10% in West Lothian, covering the small hamlet of Cobbinshaw. The Trust was formed in 2012 to ensure that community benefit funds from the various windfarm developments in the area were distributed directly into the local area for community-led projects and improvements.

Although the villages are classed as rural, they are easily accessible from Livingston and Edinburgh, however infrastructure is lacking and one of the key priorities for WAT IF? is to address issues such as lack of sustainable transport and key services such as superfast broadband. The Trust also has an important role in supporting existing community groups and helping to develop the villages for a more sustainable future.

The results of the community consultation undertaken in 2011/2012 was used to form the base of the Community Action Plan (CAP) which prioritise local actions, under 5 themes:

1. Roads and Transport

2. Greenspace and Heritage

3. Village Enhancement and Facilities

4. Community Activities

5. Services and Communications

For a copy of the Community Action Plan see:

Our Future Plans

The current Community Action Plan (CAP) runs from 2013 - 2018 and so in 2016/2017 a new community consultation will be undertaken to assess the impact of the first CAP and gather the thoughts of the local residents on how the Trust should move forward from 2018, which projects still need to happen and what new ideas have come forward.

Current projects underway include:

- Campaigning for improved road infrastructure and road safety. Developing effective communication channels for reporting of road safety issues to Local Authorities.  

- Improving digital connectivity by working with BT and Community Broadband Scotland.

 - Community transport initiatives 

 - Youth program - events, activities and school holiday clubs

- Development of a Community Heritage event to celebrate the area's rich shale-mining history.  

- Operation of a Community Grants program including Education Access, Driving Lesson and Community Event grants

 -  Village enhancements and facilities including Village Hall improvements and installation of community defibrillators.  

Contact Details

Rebecca McCauley
Development Manager

01501 785 194
becky [at] watif [dot] scot

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Last Updated: Fri, 08/09/2017 - 08:16