Douglas has been involved in his own time with the formation of a Development Trust called One Dalkeith. As the Chair Person, Douglas has enjoyed applying his Architectural background to the improvement of the town in which he lives and works.
A Development Trust for Dalkeith
One Dalkeith was formed as a vehicle for the community to take action on three main themes; the town centre, community facilities, and community cohesion.
The new organisation came from a collaboration between Dalkeith & District Community Council and Eskbank & Newbattle Community Council in response to a campaign by the Midlothian Advertiser for a "Hub" in the town and Midlothian Council's feasibility study into a regeneration of the town centre in 2015.
Following DTAS guidelines for the formation of a Development Trust, One Dalkeith engaged in consultation through Coalfields Community Futures and then initiated its own engagement events to explore these themes.
One Dalkeith set itself the ambitious task of running engagement events that were fun and community-building in their own right, whilst ensuring these were an opportunity to discuss what a Development Trust could do in Dalkeith. During 2016-17, people came together for a series of five community cafe style events, a woodland litter pick, a heritage tour, an open-mic night and a business networking evening.
These events demonstrated the latent community spirit in the town and the wealth of positive ideas for the future. Moving through this process has enabled One Dalkeith to gain credibility and support, and to forge positive relationships with other organisations.
Activities and Initiatives
Some of the ideas explored through the engagement events have included an Activities Fair to bring local groups together and the environmentally themed activities were popular. There has been a lot of interest in arts and cultural activities, and in particular how these could be better accommodated.
The original interest in community facilities and the town centre remains central and One Dalkeith is pursuing various ideas for moving forward with these. Among these ideas are a Business Improvement District Scheme, a town trail, and more regular community cafes.