ACT was set up in 2013 as a community led Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation with a vision to; maintain, enhance and promote the coast and countryside of Argyll so that it can be enjoyed by residents and visitors forever.
We have a board with 8 members representing key sectors and areas within Argyll and Bute. This includes 4 public agency partners – Argyll and Bute Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, and NHS Highland. The Board is supported by an advisory group comprising people with expertise in areas relevant to ACT. We employ a Development Officer, a part-time Business Support Officer, 2 project officers and a part time communications officer. Our vision is to maintain, enhance and promote the coast and countryside of Argyll so that it can be enjoyed by residents and visitors forever.
Our objectives are;
To care for and enhance our environment - working strategically and locally.
We will maintain, manage, promote and enhance our biodiversity and historic environment.
To encourage people to enjoy and benefit from our environment.
We will encourage, facilitate and promote responsible access to our coast and countryside for our enjoyment and to contribute towards our overall health and well-being
To encourage investment that will improve our environment.
Maximise external funding opportunities for the benefit of the natural, historic and social environment.
To share ideas on how to care for, enhance and enjoy our environment.
Encourage participation and partnership working of existing groups and sharing of best practice with local communities and partners on all matters relating to access, biodiversity, marine and coastal, health and wellbeing and the built environment
To increase opportunities for local people such as work, training and volunteering.
Create demonstrable social benefits such as opportunities for employment, training, volunteering and improving health and wellbeing.
To work in partnership with individuals or groups with an interest in our environment.
Deliver a co-ordinated advisory service and education for the benefit of all existing community trusts and other organisations with an interest in the environment.
ACT’s main role is as a facilitator – helping things to happen that wouldn’t otherwise progress. We work in a range of area wide projects supporting project staff or getting involved in direct project management.
Our Board and Advisors represent the majority of active sectors and agencies working across Argyll and the Isles so our meetings are a great forum for exchange of information and for discussing new activity. To this end, whilst we are happy to share and discuss local countryside issues at our meetings, we are essentially a delivery organisation and will not take up campaigns, objections, or lobby on behalf of others.
Key areas we will focus on:
- Developing and promoting improved access networks and related facilities and infrastructure.
- Developing and implementing species and habitat management projects that improve biodiversity and ecosystems on a regional scale.
- Developing and implementing projects that improve amenity, cultural and historic assets on a regional scale.
- Developing and representing the communities of interest who are delivering conservation, health and wellbeing and access projects across the area, and sourcing support for their activities.
One of the concerns raised in the 2012 Feasibility Study that precipitated the setting up of ACT was that the organisation would operate in competition with established local groups, bidding against them for the same funding streams. Therefore, in addition to meeting criteria set in our objectives, we will assess how we can add value to a project and support existing networks.
We have representation on our Advisory Group from Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Development team, and also Third Sector Interface (TSI); this ensures that our approach is supportive, rather than competitive.