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Stow CAP cover
Stow CAP cover

Community Action Plan in full flow

  • Date published: 01/03/24
  • Related fund: Longpark

In June 2021, funding from the EDF Renewables Longpark Wind Farm Fund kick-started the first ever Stow Community Action Plan in the communities of Stow and Fountainhall.

The Plan was developed by the Stow Community Trust alongside the Parish of Stow Community Council and other local groups.

Stow Community Trust is a community based, not for profit organisation, made up of local people keen to see the development of assets in the village and surrounding area for the common good. Established in September 2009, with the intention of developing the former primary school into a business centre with workspaces, the work of the Trust is primarily project based and involves close partnerships with other community organisations and statutory groups.

They’ve come a long way since 2009, and were recently featured in a BBC story, highlighting some major landmarks since they were first established, and looking at their most recent achievements that were developed alongside the Community Action Plan.

The Plan has provided the community a resource to influence future strategies and priorities, trigger new groups, and celebrate the contribution of existing local groups, giving them the opportunity to drive forward projects and services which matter most to the community.  The EDF Longpark Wind Farm Community Fund has over the last fifteen years funded many of the groups and activities celebrated in the Plan.  

The Plan was developed through an extensive community consultation process that included:

  • a community survey of current needs 
  • public meetings to present and discuss survey results in Stow and Fountainhall 
  • community voting on a range of themes and actions

The Community Action Plan is ‘demand led’ (it contains the things people asked for) and will be delivered following the same principles to ensure that the communities of Stow and Fountainhall get the things they need.

Many projects that were proposed in the Plan are already underway or up and running – for example, the creation of wildflower meadows, the formation of an environmental group, car share schemes, shop-local campaigns, new street lighting and better recycling facilities.

There are also longer-term plans that bring to the fore the rich history of the area, for example, turning a Pagan well into a visitor attraction, and developing a site to commemorate the ‘Stow Witches’ of the 17th Century. Studies are taking place around the development of community power, the creation of another railway station and, ambitiously, new social housing.

Foundation Scotland administers the EDF-Renewables Longpark Wind Farm Community Fund, supporting a panel of local residents to guide how funds are distributed. Malcolm Jack, Community Fund Manager at Foundation Scotland, knows how important this funding has been and how the progress of Stow Community Trust has been transformational.

"We are proud to have played a relatively small but important part in helping to catalyse this fantastic Community Action Planning process, and enabling the EDF Longpark Wind Farm Community Fund to fuel both the Plan and many of the key community development projects to date or underway.  EDF Longpark funding of over £230,000 for example has contributed to feasibility, survey and capital costs of both the Pump Track and Station House; launch of eBikes at the Bike Hub, and the work of the Community Council and Gala Water History and Heritage Association to preserve and bring to life the area's unique heritage.  We are working alongside the Parish of Stow Fund Panel to review the EDF Renewables Longpark Wind Farm Fund and ensure it helps support the Plan’s priorities for the next decade.”