In March 2005, 40 local people attended an inspirational presentation from the Westray Development Trust. At the end of the meeting, everyone agreed that a similar approach should be explored for Comrie – The Comrie Development Group was formed. 200 members of our community came together in October 2005 to set priorities for action and agreed to establish a Development Trust for Comrie.
Comrie Development Trust was officially launched in July 2006 at the village festival ‘Comrie Alive‘ which was attended by over a quarter of the village. Membership of the Trust has since grown to over 700 members making us one of the best represented Development Trusts in the UK.
Following overwhelming support at a community ballot for the idea of the Trust buying Cultybraggan Army camp (ex WWII POW camp and MOD training ground) on behalf of the community the Trust began the process to secure the site for the village. The community ballot had a turnout of 72% and a majority in favour of 97% – this result was the most conclusive community ballot at the time, under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.
The purchase process took many hours of volunteer time, those involved were motivated by the end goal of the community owning 90 acres of land by September 2007 – as long the Trust could raise the purchase cost and the community were happy with the plans. Funding for the £350,000 purchase price was obtained from the charitable foundation, the Tudor Trust, with the Big Lottery fund via HIE and Scottish Enterprise having supported business planning for the deal.
aOn Friday 6th July 2007 the Trust signed the legal documentation to purchase Cultybraggan Army Camp from the MOD for the benefit of the community. This historic and major community buyout of 90 acres of land was effected under the Land Reform legislation. The keys to Cultybraggan Camp were handed over to CDT on 20th September 2007.
In January 2008 nearly 400 people took part in the “Big Design Day for Cultybraggan” highlighting the local enthusiasm to look at the future of the camp. And as they say…….. the rest is history – or as we like to think – history in the making.
The Trust went on to become a national exemplar project for the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund – our initial Climate Challenge Fund grant of £299,650 to fund the Comrie Carbon Challenge included the employment of an Office Manager/Carbon Challenge Assistant and Carbon Challenge Officer for three years from December 2008. The second Climate Challenge Fund grant of £176,072 to fund the Comrie Delivery Plan included the employment of a Delivery Plan Manager and Delivery Plan Assistant. The Comrie Delivery Plan mirrors, at a local community level, the Scottish Governments Delivery Plan to reduce carbon emissions by 42% by 2020.
Our Trust was registered at Companies House in July 2006, and was granted charitable status by the Office for Scottish Charity Regulator on 24th August 2007.