What’s Next in 2020 ?
New Project Development
Arran Eco Savvy began in March 2013 as a not for profit group and opened the shop opened in April 2014. We gained Charitable status in July 2015 and are a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organization or a SCIO.
We were first awarded funding by the Scottish Government and Climate Challenge Fund in 2017 and we are funded to deliver projects till spring 2021.
Managed by trustees. Currently we have 4, Esther Brown, Elsa Rodeck, Hilary McGuire and Helen Ross.
We have a large team of over 50 volunteers, covering the shop, food share, and others involved in various aspects, some for events & ebikes.
We have 7 fantastic members of staff working in the shop and on the Climate Challenge fund. They are currently delivering the project ‘Sustainable Island Life’.
Eco Savvy aims to identify which new projects have the support of the members and community of Arran.
To develop new projects that make the most effective contribution to a sustainable Arran and that address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We aim to work with the community to develop projects that best suit Arran and are of most benefit to the residents.
Gathering views and Process
Using feedback and survey results focusing on the key topics of waste, food, travel and energy, projects and subjects have been identified. All suggestions have come from the community at four events we held in 2019. Over the four events, charity members, staff, volunteers and the general public attended. The events were widely publicised and well attended.
Findings from consultations in 2019 were reviewed. These points were taken to a subsequent meeting in November and workshop in January.
Consultation with topic focused groups
- July 2019 Members survey across all project strands
- 23rd September Savvy Food Film Social – SWOT analysis
- 1st October Arran in ten years, Travel and Transport Gathering – SWOT analysis
- 17th November Annual General Meeting – Members consultation
- 28th November New Project Direction Meeting – Steering Group consultation
- 10th January What’s Next Workshop
Members were invited to identify projects in each category for further consideration at meetings in November 2019 and January 2020. Through a process of elimination we narrowed this down to 16 subjects and projects. In January 2020 we prioritised 8 of these for assessment.
The method for reducing the subjects was via options reviews that took into consideration pros, cons, timelines, risks and effort. The subjects that have high risk, considerable cons and timelines that require partners to progress have been put on hold. These have not been discarded, but some do require significant development and will be considered once certain research and development has concluded.
To achieve our charitable purpose and to help fight climate change we have decided to focus on Waste Transport Food and Energy. These were identified in potential subjects and projects by members.
New Project Direction Meeting
28th November 2019
Findings and feedback from the survey and previous four events were presented to attendees of a steering group on new project direction. Members were asked to choose their top three in each topic. 8 members, volunteers and trustees participated.
This group identified the top four over all in each topic as priorities for Eco Savvy in no particular order.
Of the sixteen selected, two have been implemented already.
Lift Share – Launched in December
Tool Libraries for bike repairs – Will launch this year
Projects awaiting partners to complete development.
Community Composting Site – Business Plan 1st draft, Scope of works 1st draft is completed. Meeting with NAC over 4 years. Currently waiting for them to fund feasibility study. Relies on NAC to progress further.
Food waste Circular Economy Study – Surveying local business (outcome due in Feb) Project Proposal developed to draft stage for feasibility study and will require considerable development
Allotments – Currently the Community Land Initiative has allotments and plans to increase them.
Through an options review these sixteen projects and subjects were reduced to eight. The eight were taken to a meeting early in January for consideration through workshop and survey. 20 members, 3 trustees 7 and staff participated.
What’s Next Workshop
10th January 2020
Participants were asked for Pros and Cons, Suggestions and Comments. They were asked to indicate their support for the individual projects.
“Will the project have a significant effect on Climate Change & does it suit and benefit our community here on Arran? “
Results from the consultations asking attendees to rank their preferred projects.
30 participants in the workshop and online survey. Each had eight votes to cast across the eight projects.
These findings show overall support for the topic of renewable energy. Garden sharing and Circular Economy have significant support. Cycle paths and infrastructure and Sharing skills and tools also gaining considerable votes.
Project Development Background
When Eco Savvy formed in 2013, a well publicised priority in our long-term action plan was to achieve an Eco Park for Arran. Showcasing sustainable living and building, home to a renewable energy project.
2014 – 2015
Public meetings held in 2014 investigated community support and possible elements of an Eco Park with positive responses. While we considered the possibility that a potential energy project could generate power & heat, we conducted members workshops in 2015 to identify community needs.
Heated polytunnels, studio space, community cafe and laundrette facilities were identified. Current leisure facilities on Arran are privately owned and most have limited access to the wider community, this was identified as a need. Also, the creation of a space to increase the activities of our second-hand shop to resell reconditioned second hand electrical white goods, rehome larger items of furniture, hold upcycling workshops and house a tool library were subjects proposed.
In 2016 Eco Savvy held public meetings to present the idea of a community energy project to the wider public. At the time we considered biomass and solar technologies. Surveys asked the community if they supported Eco Savvy to pursue the development of a community energy project and we received 99% positive response with excellent attendance. Further steps were then taken to identify an area of land that could be used for advancing Arrans sustainability.
We were awarded funding for our first Climate Challenge Fund project “Micro Hubs’ establishing a community network across Arran. These raised climate awareness and enabled residents to find uses for unwanted items.
2018 – 2019
Arran Energy Challenge was funded by the Climate Challenge Fund to audit domestic homes energy use.
Targeting local residents, we audited 300 homes reducing energy use and assisting with 11 solar installs.
The next stage is to complete a further options appraisal of each project, including projects that still require partners to progress. The pros and cons will be accessed through this process along with risk, timeline, cost/income and effort with the board and staff contributing to the appraisal.
To compliment this we will conduct a review of skills and experience in the group.
In the coming months, the board of trustees will consider the next steps. The intention is to form steering groups for specific projects that we intend to take forward for further development and invite members to take part in more specific workshops. These will allow the chosen topics to be looked at in detail, historical work to be reviewed, and opportunities and constraints to be considered.