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Projects delivered by Alan Caldwell Associates

Unst – Saxa Vord feasibility Study

Initially appointed to undertake a feasibility study into a community buy in to this former RAF base, the second phase is preparing a business plan to encourage island enterprises in the craft, tourism and food and drink sectors.

Alan Caldwell has been appointed as the lead consultant for the Development Trust Association Scotland new consultancy service ‘The Pool’.  The feasibility study will develop and test a business model to encourage thriving local enterprises to be located in a community owned space at Saxa Vord that will benefit the island economy and compliment the current business at Saxa Vord.

This will include:

  • The production of a business plan that will define the business model including detailed budgets, profit forecasts and cash flow projections.  This will include a financial model that will enable the Partnership to produce revised financial plans using different assumptions as the project develops. This work will also provide the Unst Partnership with all the necessary information on the technical support it will require to progress the chosen option and to make applications for technical support a ssistance.
  • The establishment of a working group of the Unst Partnership to work alongside the consultancy team to test ideas develop the project and offer local guidance.  We would expect this working group to consist of interested people from the Partnership and the Community Council and, crucially, younger members of the island with enterprising ideas.    The involvement of existing business expertise would also be welcome.  There may also be a way of reinforcing the connections with Yell through representations on the group.  The role of people on this working group will range from commenting by email, taking part in telephone conferences, meeting the consultancy team on Unst and/or developing particular areas of individual interest as the work progresses.  Testing the community validity of enterprise ideas as they emerge will be of particular significance. Members of the working group can ‘buy into’ whatever level of involvement they feel comfortable with.  The key is to attract enterprising young blood to the project and the Partnership.
  • Community engagement and development work is key to the success of phase 2.  It is proposed that the consultancy team continues to work closely with Helen Bradley and that both the newsletters and at least one large scale community meeting is included to report on progress and the outcome of phase 2.
  • Small scale market research to ensure the business plan both feasible and practical.  This will look to identify potential local enterprises to occupy space in the community owned space.  The working group will have a crucial role in advising on this work.
  • Island wide recommendations to ensure there is a supportive context for the business model, existing businesses elsewhere on the island and Saxa Vord Resort.  This will include areas such as marketing, tourism development and infrastructure improvements (broadband etc).  This will be a scoping exercise to be implemented in future phases beyond phase 2.
  • Scoping larger scale ideas that may compliment or offer an alternative option to the proposed business model.  While it is recommended that this aspect does not occupy a great deal of the consultancy time it is important to scope the possibilities for a larger scale enterprise solution for the island and Saxa Vord.  This may include some form of energy project.  It should be pointed out that this was not an option that received any prominence in the discussions with public sector partners in phase 1.
  • Organisational development to include recommendations on the legal structure and capacity building issues to own and manage the community owned space.