Seeing is Believing, delivered by Plunkett Scotland and funded by the Prince’s Countryside Fund, is due to come to a close in October. We have a small amount of support still available, so please get in touch with us as soon as you can if you would like to take up our offer of support.

Seeing is Believing provides an opportunity for rural communities that are thinking of setting up a community-owned enterprise to go on a study visit or work with a community mentor.

The last six months has seen eleven groups supported including:

New Galloway Community Shop & Enterprises
Having been on the market for a number of years, the only shop in the village is facing closure. New Galloway has a population of around 300 and 80% of its residents took part in a survey about the shop. 98% were in favour of community-ownership and over the following months the steering group has pulled together plans which could see the community buy the shop and attached property and develop it as a local hub. A refurbished and diversified shop will be complemented by self-catering holiday units and flexible work units for local micro-businesses – the income from these adding to the overall sustainability of the enterprise. Help to bring these ideas together into a plan as well as choosing and registering the right legal structure has come with the help of a mentor and a visit with Witherslack Community Shop in Cumbria.

Lochcarron Artisan Dairy & Farm Shop
Over the last 20 years Kathy and David Biss have developed the now well-established West Highland Dairy in Achmore. The dairy produces a range of specialist cheese, yogurt and ice cream and runs regular classes in cheese-making.

With Kathy and David planning to retire , the local community company, Lochcarron Community Development Company (LCDC), is exploring taking on and growing the business as a community-owned venture.

To help get a better understanding about the type of business and the building design LCDC was awarded a Seeing is Believing study visit to the St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company.

The Seeing is Believing programme will come to a close later this year but there is still time to apply. If you are thinking of a rural community-owned enterprise and would like some help to explore and take your idea forward please get in touch Kirsty.maccoll@plunkett.co.uk