Introduction to the Guide to Development trusts and Partnerships
This Guide is intended for anyone interested in how our towns, cities and villages may be regenerated through the involvement of those with the greatest stake in their future - the people who live and work there.
It is particularly intended for anyone considering the creation of a Community Development Trust or similar partnership organisation.
You may be a member of a community group seeking to make some permanent improvements to your neighbourhood, or a council member or officer looking for ways to turn short-term Government funding programmes into a longer term investment for the community.
Or you may be a company executive who believes that business thrives best when it has a stake in the area from which it operates, and that a trust may be a way of levering additional sources of funds for the area.
Hopefully all these interests will find the Guide useful - because they are all potential partners in any successful trust.
The Guide builds on ideas first set out in 'Creating Development Trusts', a set of case studies and good practice guidelines produced for the Department of the Environment in 1988.
Since then practitioners running trusts have formed the Development Trusts Association - http://www.dta.org.uk - and Government has provided strong official backing for partnership bodies.
The idea of community participation and partnership enjoys cross party and cross sector support - although reality does not always match rhetoric.
The strength of Development Trusts is that they can demonstrate the creativity and added competence that comes from bringing together expertise and enthusiasm from public, private, voluntary and community sectors.
Many trusts are also showing how it is possible for these partnerships to be sustainable - and promote sustainability - by using the resources they gain to develop local people, buildings and other facilities in their community.