Our history 2016-12-18T15:24:18+00:00

History of the DDT

Origins

  • A Community Futures project was set up in 2002 by Stirling Council and run by a Steering Group, which consulted the people of Dunblane via a survey, community profile and workshop.
  • This culminated in 2003 in Dunblane’s first Community Action Plan and the creation of Dunblane Development Trust (DDT), a company with charitable status which could apply for funding and would be entirely independent, accountable only to its membership and the community at large. It was incorporated as a Company on 11th June 2003 and its registered charity status was approved on 5th August 2003.  Its first newsletter was published at Christmas 2003.
  • An interim DDT Board comprising Steering Group members was set up with Neil Robertson as Chairman. All resigned at the first AGM in September 2004 when the first Board was elected.  There were 200 members who paid a subscription of £2 per annum.
  • Initially three groups were established under the Board:- Local Economy, Environment, and Tourism.

Early developments

  • The Environment Group flourished under the enthusiastic leadership of Mike Seal but the other two groups never really took off.
  • The Civic Society had already begun work to refurbish Ochlochy Pond with significant input from local resident Ian Maclachlan, and the DDT joined in to bring the project to a successful conclusion.
  • When Neil Robertson left the area Mike Seal became Chairman. Mike’s home address was the DDT’s first registered office.
  • Dunblane in Bloom was established on 3rd February 2004 with Sandy MacKay leading it. Dunblane was entered in the Scotland in Bloom competition and won ‘Best New Entrant’ at the prizegiving on 15th September 2004.
  • A significant donation from Cala to design and build an attractive display at the Barbush Roundabout was received and the design by Dougal Thornton was approved by Stirling Council in the Autumn of 2004.
  • Mike Seal established the DDT as a recognised representative body within the town until he moved away in Spring 2005. Mike provided silver trophies and established an annual competition for the best shopfront floral displays by the businesses.
  • Bryan Grieve became the next Chairman in June 2005 when the membership stood at 500, thanks mostly to the efforts of Andy McLaren.

Consolidation

  • From then on the DDT became well integrated into the community making a positive impact in the town via the colourful barrels produced by Dunblane in Bloom.
  • The Braeport Centre became the DDT’s registered office in May 2005 and Board meetings were held there from that date.
  • The Midweek Group, led by Bill MacLean, began their activities in July 2003 working at Ochlochy Pond. This was followed by many other activities including bench refurbishment, painting of railings and the repainting of the Faery Bridge over the winter of 2009/10.
  • The Memorial Bridge giving access to the War Memorial was closed in 2006 but replaced by a wooden bridge built by Army Engineers with funding provided by Stirling Council. Bryan Grieve worked with the Dunblane Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland to make these arrangements.
  • Braes of Doune Windfarm was approved for construction with Doune and Dunblane receiving community benefit in the form of a percentage of profits annually for a period of twenty years. The first Windfarm income, in 2007, was wholly spent on the Braeport Centre and subsequently the DDT and the Community Council established a Windfarm Committee to disburse the income to local Dunblane groups.
  • Glen Road was saved from closure by a group headed up by Bridget Clark, comprising volunteers from the DDT, Sustrans and Bridge of Allan Community Council. It was opened as an important link in National Cycle Network 765 in August 2013.

Membership

  • Since its inception the DDT has been fortunate to have two very efficient Membership Secretaries – Margaret Stewart (2003 to 2010) and Lorna Inglis (2010 to the present time). The DDT has been consistently supported by its members paying their subscriptions and also offering generous donations.

Chairmen

  • Following the first three chairmen already mentioned, the organisation has been headed up by Lawrie Dewar, Keir Bloomer, Tim Hughes and now Roy Nicholson.

Expansion

  • In the summer of 2009 a grant of £1.2m from the Scottish Government was received to construct a significant building on a gap site in the High Street thanks to the efforts of Bryan Grieve and David Gill. The design included five flats and commercial space, and the project has increased the footfall in the centre of the town and created jobs.  DDT Projects Ltd, a company wholly owned by the DDT, was set up to manage the project and the building, later named Riverview.  It has been managed by Malcolm Dougall from construction tender stage to the present day.  At an extraordinary general meeting in January 2010 the DDT membership decided to adhere to its established principles and move forward without incurring any obligation to developers.
  • The Braeport Centre, an important community facility, was run by Stirling Council until 2004 when they agreed to allow the building to be managed by the DDT. Bill Stewart, supported by other volunteers, successfully managed the building and the bookings by local groups for more than a decade.  The Midweek Group volunteers have undertaken a regular repair and maintenance programme at the Braeport and in 2015 the DDT became the Tenant with a full repairing 25-year lease, signed by Tim Hughes and Ian Gill, at a peppercorn rent.  A Braeport Sub-Committee, chaired by Ian Gill and responsible to the DDT Board, was created in 2015 to manage the building and the bookings, and a business plan was produced to support the DDT’s plan to take the facility into community ownership.  The DDT has employed a cleaner, caretaker and an IT expert who has introduced the online bookings system.
  • The DDT has also employed short-term project staff from time to time to provide support in the areas of strategic planning and fundraising.
  • Dunblane Environment Group was formed in 2010 and, adhering to sustainable and organic principles, focussed initially on improving the Haugh. The centrepiece was the creation of a new garden around the war memorial designed by Monica Cessford and the 250 metre-long hosta border.  In 2013 the Group, led by Janice Stewart, with invaluable input from Ian Maclachlan, Bridget Clark and Dougal Thornton, began lobbying Stirling Council to repair the riverside path below the Cathedral which collapsed in 2011.  The repair was finally completed in August 2016 as a result of collaboration between the DDT Projects Board and Stirling Council.  The Environment Group also effectively lobbied Network Rail to erect a safety retaining wall near Bridgend which was completed in August 2013.
  • Dunblane in Bloom continued to offer attractive floral displays in containers every summer and also created new flower beds around the town, the jewel in the crown being the stunning rock garden adjacent to the Faery Bridge. When Sandy MacKay withdrew to a well-earned retirement, George Matthews took on the leadership of the group.

New Horizons

  • In 2016 John Newman started the Paths Maintenance Team and the volunteers have so far carried out work at the Darn Road and in the Laigh Hills.