All about Haddington Community Development Trust

Haddington Community Development Trust (HCDT) was established in February 2013. It is a private company limited by guarantee, and a charity recognised by the Office of the Scottish Charity regulator (OSCR). The Trust aims to transform Haddington into the best small town in Scotland, with priorities being:

  • Deliver a thriving, bustling town centre
  • Develop outstanding facilities and events for residents and visitors alike
  • Attract tourists
  • Boost the local economy, attracting investment and creating jobs

Who's involved in Haddington Community Development Trust?

At the AGM in August 2016, the  Board of Directors was elected.  The main aim of the Trusts work is to continue to work on implementing the Vision for Haddington project to life. We come from various walks of life and bring a range of different experiences to the Trust board. We aim for the board to be stable, energetic and communicative.

Frances Wright


Eric Bateman


Ewan Ogilvie


Karen Stevenson

Nominated to represent Haddington and District Amenity Society

Claire Goodwin


Nico De Freitas


How can i get involved?

It’s easy. We need volunteers from all walks of life. Whatever your experience – and the number of hours you can commit – is, we can use you!

As a director…

Your board comes from a range of backgrounds.  Member Directors are elected at the AGM and if you are interested in becoming a member Director you can contact us on and we are happy to have an informal chat with you.  Or you can speak to Frances at The Malt Kiln, 18 High Street, Haddington. The more diverse the backgrounds and experience of directors, the better for the Trust and our town.

As a supporter…

If you are interested in the work of the Trust, and feel you have skills that can help the Board, but currently can’t devote the time as a Director, we would love you become a ‘Supporter of the Trust’.  Please contact us on and let us know what you could help with.  We may not need you immediately but it would be great to know we have your experience to count on to help us deliver future projects.

As a member…

We’d be delighted if you could join as a member, and help shape the future of our town.

To become a member (or to renew your membership) download, complete and sign the application form and take it to either of the following places:

  • East Lothian Council, Main Reception, John Muir House, Haddington
  • Joe Forte Sports, 65 High Street,
  • The Malt Kiln, 18 High Street, Haddington

Join us

To become a member of the Haddington Community Development Trust (or to renew your membership) complete the online application form below.

As part of becoming a member, you accept that, should the company fail with insufficient funds to cover its liabilities, you may be liable for a payment of a maximum £1.

Alternatively you can click here to download our application form

To become a member of the Haddington Community Development Trust (or to renew your membership) complete and sign this form and take it to either of the following places:

• East Lothian Council, Main Reception, John Muir House, Haddington
• Joe Forte Sports, 65 High Street,
• The Malt Kiln, 18 High Street, Haddington

Community Development Trusts – What are they?

What is a Community Development Trust?

Development trusts are community organisations which

  • Are owned and managed by Trust members from the local community (in our case the people who live, work or have a strong connection to Haddington).
  • Aim to achieve sustainable regeneration of their communities and address a range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues within them.
  • Are independent but seek to work in partnership with other public, private and third sector organisations. HCDT have four partnership organisations that are represented on the board of directors. They are Haddington and District Amenity Society (HADAS), Haddington and District Community Council (HCC) Haddington and District Business Association (HDBA) and Knox Academy (Knox).
  • Aim to reduce dependency on grant support, ultimately by generating income through sustainable community development enterprise and ownership of assets. Any trading surpluses are reinvested in the organisation or the community.

What will Haddington Community Development Trust (HCDT) do?

Haddington Community Development Trust want to make Haddington the best place it can be to live, work and visit.

We aim to deliver the key actions from the 2012 Urban Animation report “‘A vision for Haddington Town Centre’ fulfilling our potential “ – these key actions are to create a bustling town centre that is vibrant, animated and attractive. To boost the local economy and make the most of the wonderful locally produced food, drink, and arts & crafts. To make sure Haddington has great facilities for the whole community, young and old. We want to tell the Haddington story, make the most of its history, the riverside and the resources we have to attract visitors all year round.

The Directors and members of the Trust will

Act with integrity – do what we say we are going to do.

Act with mutual respect – internally and externally.

Offer mutual support to and share knowledge and ideas with other like-minded organisations.

Maintain open communication with the members and take constructive criticism.

What is the difference between a Community Development Trust and Community Council?

A Community Development Trust is a voluntary organisation, often a company listed at Companies House and is able to receive and distribute funds according to its Articles of Association and its Objects. The members own the Company and elect a Board of Directors to run the company on their behalf.

A Community Council is the most local tier of statutory representation in Scotland. They bridge the gap between local authorities and communities, and help make the local authority aware of the wants and needs of the communities they represent.

The Community Development Trust and the Community Council work together towards common aims but should be mindful of their different responsibilities.

Is the Trust a charity or a company?

HCDT is both a company and a charity. Being a Charity enables us to pursue grant funding to enable projects to be realised.

Who runs the Community Trust?

A board of Directors runs the Trust.

What does being a Director mean?

It means you are responsible for running the company according to the Trust’s articles, and legal duties.

Can anyone be a Director?

A full member of the Trust can stand for election. Members who wish to be stand for election should complete an application form. On appointment all Directors are required to complete the following:

Commitment declaration

Conflict of interest declaration

Fit and proper person declaration

The HCDT’s success depends on the personal commitment and active participation of all Directors. They are expected to be strong advocates and enthusiastic communicators of the HCDT’s mission and to play a meaningful role in fundraising activities to support the HCDT’s programmes. Board meetings are held monthly and sub-committees as often as necessary. It is important not to miss meetings and to be well prepared for them. Each Director is expected to serve on a subcommittee best suited to his/her experience.

Before accepting an appointment, prospective Directors should undertake their own examination of the organisation to satisfy themselves that it is an organisation in which they can have faith and in which they will be suited to working.

The following areas should be considered:

The exact nature and extent of the organisation’s activities

Structure of the Board and Board committees and the relationships between the Chairperson and the Board and any staff or volunteers

Qualities, knowledge, skills and experience needed to form the Board

How your knowledge, skills, experience and time matches the needs of the organisation

Current key dependencies (e.g. regulatory approvals, funding sources, etc)

Are Directors appointed or elected and by whom?

Both. There are 4 co-opted Directors nominated as representative members from the 4 partnership groups – Haddington and District Community Council (HCC) , Haddington and District Amenity Society (HADAS), Haddington and District Business Association (HDBA) and Knox Academy (Knox). Seven directors are elected from the membership at the AGM. The Board can make co-options to fill casual vacancies occurring during the year. The Board may also co-opt one non-member of HCDT to bring special skill or expertise. The Board is required to have a minimum of 9 directors in office.

What does being a co-opted Director mean?

The responsibities of elected and co-opted Directors are identical, with one exception. The exception concerns a non-member co-opted director, if appointed, who has reduced voting rights.

What does being a member of the trust mean?

As a member of the Trust you believe in the aims and objectives of the Trust. As member of the Trust you are part owner of the company. You can attend all General meetings and the Annual General Meeting (AGM). You can exercise your right to vote at on any motion put before a general meeting for consideration. If you wish to vote but cannot attend the general meeting that will consider the motion, you can vote by proxy.  This means you nominate another person to vote on your behalf. If you intend to vote by proxy, arrangements have to be made to enable you to do so. Members can also ask for a general meeting to be called.

Does it cost anything to be a member?

It is free to join the HCDT. All members must renew their membership before the AGM if they wish to vote in person or by proxy. You can join the Trust by filling in an application form and take along  to Frances at The Malt Kiln, 18 High Street, Haddington or Joe at Joe Forte Sports at 65 High Street, Haddington or join here.


Does anyone in the Trust get paid?

All board members work for the Trust on a voluntary basis. If the board decide to employ someone as say an administrative assistant then that person could be paid – but they do not need to be a member of the trust. Also if anyone is a member of the trust and is going to be paid to do a job they cannot be a Director as this is considered to be a conflict of interest

What sort of activities might the trust be involved with?

The Trust may pursue any activity that helps it achieve its objectives.

And it objectives are to:

Deliver a bustling town center.

Boost the Local economy.

Attract investment and create jobs.

Develop outstanding facilities for residents and visitors.

Attract tourists/footfall to the town.

With whom does the Trust communicate?

The Directors will communicate with the members through newsletters and mail and it is hoped in the future, the wider public, by setting up a website.

Who does the Trust liaise with?

East Lothian Council (ELC), Haddington and Lammermuir Local Area Partnership (H&LAP), Haddington Community Council (HCC), Haddington and District Amenity Society (HADAS), Haddington and District Business Association (HDBA) and Knox Academy (Knox).

What are the Articles of Association?

These are the rules of the company i.e. the Trust, and incorporate its formal objects.

Where does the money come from?

For the first 3 years the Trust are Grant funded by ELC.   This funding will be dependant on certain conditions being fulfilled. The first year of funding was 2013 -2014. We are now in year 2015- 2016. In the future the Trust will work towards being self-funded.

How do we know the trust is spending money wisely and what has been spent to date?

We are bound by company rules and by OSCR.  At the Annual General Meeting a Chairman’s Report and Financial Report will be given to the members.

How do members find out what is going on?

This website, member newsletters, local press, and social media twitter Facebook.

How many meetings do the Trust Have?

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is required by Company law to be held once a year (or within 15 months of previous AGM). The Board will meet regularly – once a month and more if circumstances require.

Who can come to meetings?

Members can attend the AGM or other general meetings. Only those invited can attend Board meetings.

How does the Board make decisions?

Some decisions are accepted by a consensus. A motion being put forward makes more formal decisions and a majority vote will carry a motion.  The Chair has the casting vote, unless the Chair is a co-opted (representative) Director.

If I am only a member will the Trust listen to what I have to say?

Yes – you can contact board members directly, by e-mail or by mail. It is the intention of the Trust to have occasional open meetings that you can attend and chat to the board in an informal way.

What is DTA Scotland and is HCDT a member?

DTA Scotland is a charitable membership organisation and support network for community development trusts. It has membership of over 200 community-based groups spread across rural and urban Scotland. DTA Scotland promotes best practice for community development trusts and supports its members to become more financially and operationally robust. It promotes the community-led development and community development trusts with policymakers and funders, as well as supporting the establishment of new trusts.

HCDT is a member of DTA Scotland

Are there other Trusts like us in Scotland?

Yes! There are many. The DTA Scotland website lists over 200 Community Development Trusts who are members of DTA Scotland.

Is there anywhere Trusts can go for advice?

The Trust is able to use the full resources of DTA Scotland including its solicitors and specialist advisors.

The vision for Haddington – what exactly is it?

How did it all start?

The Haddington Town Centre Vision project is a great example of people working together for the good of their town. It is the result of cooperation between four local community groups – Haddington Community Council, Haddington and District Amenity Society, Haddington Business Association and Haddington’s History Society. In 2011, these groups came together through a shared interest in the long term health of the town centre; Knox Academy subsequently joined the Vision team too. They agreed to promote the Vision project, and the Community Council and HADAS provided the first part of the funding.

The remaining financial support came from East Lothian Council and the people of the Haddington area. At that time, there was uncertainty over proposals for new supermarkets which were expected to have an impact on the town centre. (Planning permission was subsequently granted for a still to open Sainsbury’s store on the western edge of Haddington.) Meanwhile, some town centre businesses were facing tough times, due to economic conditions and the impact of online and out of town shopping. There were also concerns that Haddington’s historic buildings, streets and spaces were in need of attention.

A Vision for Haddington Town Centre

The report “A Vision for Haddington Town Centre – fulfilling our potential” was prepared and facilitated by Urban Animation in consultation with the people of Haddington, and local community groups. Published in July 2012, it focuses on five key themes:

  • The need to make much more of Haddington’s place as East Lothian’s hub
  • Its unique story as one of Scotland’s oldest towns
  • Its abundance of attractive buildings, streets and spaces
  • Its enterprising and creative people – not least its young people, and
  • Its well established community spirit

From this, the report recommends eight key actions:

  • Achieving the ambition of making Haddington Scotland’s best town square
  • Developing an access strategy – to animate the town centre and generate more activity
  • Bringing the town’s assets to life
  • Re-using empty buildings
  • Telling the world – marketing the town centre
  • Setting up a Community Development Trust
  • Getting local – with more local products on sale, and
  • Enabling young people to engage with the vision – ‘enterprising youth’

Read the report



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An update from the AGM

An update from the AGM 28 January 2019. The Trust’s AGM was held on 28 January 2019 and we thank everyone who took the time to attend or note your apologies.  The Chair’s report can be read in full here and the accounts can be...

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Public Consultation on Council Budgets

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Gateside Development Plans

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An update on the Town Centre Design Project

Update relating to the Haddington Town Centre Design Project The board of Haddington Community Development Trust (“HCDT”) is represented on the Steering Group for the proposed Town Centre Project, as are Haddington Community Council and Haddington and District...

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Design a flag for East Lothian!

An open competition to design a brand new and distinctive civic flag for East Lothian has been launched. Run jointly by East Lothian Council and the Scottish Flag Trust, in association with the Lord Lyon and East Lothian Courier, the competition is open to anyone and...

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Haddington Education Consultation

East Lothian Council’s Education Department are about to begin a new consultation in Haddington regarding the proposed closure of Haddington Infant School and King’s Meadow Primary School and the establishment of a new primary school and its associated catchment area...

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An update from the 2017 AGM

An update from the 2017 AGM  The 2017 AGM was held on 31st October 2017 and the Board were delighted to see so many members old and new take the time to attend and we thank you for your continued support. Frances Wright presented a summary of the Chairs report and a...

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The FYI newsletter is produced weekly for the six Area Partnerships set up across East Lothian in 2014 to be the “local voice” of the East Lothian Partnership and to strengthen links between communities and area based services. They identify community priorities and allow partners to influence change in their community, giving them a real say in the decisions that matter most.

The key activities of Area Partnerships are:
  • Develop an Area Plan based on local knowledge and the needs of the local community
  • Monitor the delivery of the Area Plan and its impact on the local community
  • Oversee the budgets devolved to the area are inline with priorities established by the Area Plan
  • Act as the first point of contact, consultation and engagement on the delivery of local services and service improvement
  • Ensure that community engagement is used to develop, deliver and review the Area Plan and local service delivery; drawing on and building on existing activities of local groups and partnerships.

Area Partnership members include key groups across the Ward including ELC Councillors, representatives from Community Councils, Tenants and Residents Associations, Parent Councils as well as other key local groups and young people. The Haddington Community Development Trust is a full member of the Haddington and Lammermuir Area Partnership which covers an area from Athelstaneford in the north to Longyester in the south and from Humbie in the west to Garvald in the east.

For more information on Haddington and Lammermuir Area Partnership go to:

 You can read the latest FYI newsletters here:

East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – June 2017

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 3rd March

This week’s FYI! is ready for you - please click here. Events Promotion – while the Area Partnership are no longer publishing event details in the FYI! please remember that they are very happy to publish links to a What’s On East Lothian posting for you, so please use...

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 27th January

Please follow this link to see the latest from the East Lothian Area Partnership, including: •         Dunbar & East Linton Area Partnership’s Annual Public Meeting on 27 February is headlining this week. •         Cockenzie Power Station Site and Surroundings...

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 13th January

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 9th December

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 2nd December

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 25th November

Please find attached the latest issue of East Lothian Area Partnership’s ‘FYI’ Newsletter – East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 25th November. Quite large with a lot of information included this week to help you deal with our Scottish Winters! Please remember you can...

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 11th November

Please find attached the latest issue of East Lothian Area Partnership’s ‘FYI’ Newsletter - East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 11h November  Please note there are 2 Area Partnerships Annual Meetings coming up.  Also note there is consultation from Education (4 in...

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 4th November

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East Lothian Area Partnership FYI – 28th October

Please find attached the latest issue of East Lothian Area Partnership’s ‘FYI’ Newsletter, including details of the '4 wishes exercise' from Haddington and Lammermuir Area Partnership - if you had 4 wishes which would improve the Haddington and Lammermuir Area, what...

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Facebook Posts

Happy new year from everyone at Blooming Haddington.
Thank you for all your support over 2018. It was a great year for us, culminating in winning the award for best medium town in Scotland at the awards dinner hosted in our very own St Mary's Kirk.
We are looking forward to new projects and ventures this year, making the town look even lovelier.
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We’ve supported a number of local projects which will benefit Haddington’s youth, including:

Young Haddington Blog

adamAll of the board agree that the most important output of “The Vision” report (and by extension the most important part of the Trust’s work) is the need for us all to engage with the Town’s young people. We’re very proud that Adam Linton-Main – a student at Knox Academy – is one of our Directors.

Keep up to date with Adam’s blogs here…


So, what has been happening? Loads. It’s getting to that time of year where the schoolwork for us seniors at Knox is piling higher than the height we stand at. With exams approaching and university conditions to be met, the pressure is really mounting. I’m in 6th year and sitting only 3 exams. Tell you what, I actually feel sorry for the year below, all of whom are sitting 5 exams, and even more so for the S4`s who sit 7! It’s a crazy amount of work. In my opinion, the month running up to exams is the only time in a year I feel there isn’t enough time in the day: schoolwork, social life, sleeping, sport, it’s like trying to get a sleeping bag back into its case…

It’s not all doom and gloom though! The Haddington community cinema is up and running. This is a fantastic addition to the town for all, especially `us youngsters’. The films they show are great; the Oscar winning “The Revenant” was shown on the 27th of March, and the new “Star Wars” was shown back in January, cutting out long and pricey bus rides uptown in the freezing cold and pouring rain for those too young to drive. A great step in the right direction in my opinion. Also, don’t forget about the new(ish) tennis courts. I’m a huge fan of racket sports: Badminton, table tennis, you name it. Last year Haddington`s shiny new tennis courts were opened; a great way to take a break from the books and get a bit of fresh air.


HCDT Director – and Knox Academy representative – Adam Linton-Main reflects on Christmas for a busy Knox student. In the meantime, to all of our supporters and members, a big “thank you” for your efforts in 2015. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

“Christmas time!” Supposedly a time of joy but those in years 4-6 of Knox have less joyous intentions over the Christmas holidays. The pressure of prelims permeates as the frantic 2 weeks of revision begins. Teachers always say “have a good holiday guys and don’t do too much work. Oh remember, your 2000 word assignment is due in after the break.” Its a hard life…

It’s a case of do or die for many of Knox’s 6th years who have the intentions of going to Uni. Applications have been sent off and the seemingly endless wait for replies has begun. It’s so competitive `these days’; required grades to get into university have sky-rocketed in recent years, meaning our generation has to work all the harder.

There are other pressures this time of year that individuals with a large workload could do without. Christmas presents; the annual “how well do you know your relatives test” in which you must guess what people want. Where to celebrate new years? Luckily, there are a few things in Haddington to help entertain youngsters. The Jericho cafe is a place where you and your mates can go play pool, games consoles or express your artistic side. There are also regular and diverse events held at Haddington’s Bridge centre, like the games club, gym classes and music classes. Often there is too much time in the Christmas holidays for those not in 4th, 5th and 6th years and getting out of the house to socialize with your mates in a place like the Bridge Centre can be a great way to pass the time.

Also, doesn’t Haddington look great this time of year? I love the atmosphere in the town during winter, the excitement building and building before the 25th.

Contact us

If you have any queries please contact us using the form below. Alternatively, please email us at


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