What is Community-led Action Planning?

For many years, communities the length and breadth of Scotland have been the subject of other people’s plans but now they are starting to become involved in developing their own action plans. This gives people a real opportunity to say what’s important to them and what needs to happen to make sure that their communities are better places to live for everyone. Community-led action planning involves the community leading the actions that are detailed in the plan.

What is it for and what are its key features?

The key aspects of community-led action plans which make them different from other kinds of plan are that they are:

  • Based directly on community needs and ambitions, and on a detailed knowledge of the strengths that exist in communities to help achieve their aims.
  • Community-led – the community is directly involved in creating the plan and in ensuring that the actions are delivered.
  • Collaborative – they involve a wide range of people from the community and from the range of agencies and organisations that will be responsible for delivering at least some of the actions contained within the plan.
  • Open and inclusive – all members of the community have the opportunity to be actively involved in creating the plan and in contributing to its delivery, and are supported to do so if required.
  • Flexible and responsive – the process of community-led action planning takes account of the changing nature of communities and is able to reflect that as it develops.
  • Sustainable – community-led action plans are not constrained by political or other organisational planning cycles. This means that the community-led action planning process can continue for as long as is appropriate.

Benefits of community-led action planning

Here's a quote from local organisation who have been through a community-led action planning process:

"Tarbert and Skipness Community Trust completed a hefty community plan in 2010 following public consultations and focus groups with residents, businesses and local organisations. The plan outlines the strategic policies and initiatives that might influence the area, a profile of the area including population, employment, demographic and health statistics as well as our main objectives and actions for moving forward. 

Such a comprehensive document informs all our applications for funding and requests for information from statutory and other bodies.  Most recently the Trust has used the plan to evidence projects put forward via the Trust for Tarbert Regeneration.   Projects successfully achieved since the plan was produced include Tarbert Castle consolidation and opening as a visitor attraction, path projects, junior gym and investment in a wind turbine to provide an income for the village. We have updated it twice and are due to complete a further update.  It is a living plan.”

More information

Argyll & Bute Community Planning
Argyll & Bute has a 10 year community planning ambition for how services and communities work together.

The Place Standard Tool and your community
This tool helps communities understand how they feel about where they live - helping inform good decision making and target support in the right places.

Argyll & Bute Council community development page
This page has lots of information about community development, community planning and other ways to get your local community involved.

You can also get in touch with Argyll & Bute Council for more information.