Starting a trust and/or taking ownership of a building has proven successful for many organisations. We speak to Development Trust Association Scotland to find out what they do and how they can help you . . .

What was Development Trust Association Scotland set up to do?

"DTAS was set up to support and represent the development trust movement in Scotland. We are part of a network of organisations active throughout the UK. Currently we have over 260 members from Shetland down to Stranraer!"

Who do you work with, primarily?

"Primarily, the core DTAS service works with our members and those aspiring to be development trusts. However we also deliver the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) which supports any community organisations looking to take on land, buildings and other physical assets from local authorities and other public sector bodies. For more information, see

We also run the Community Shares Scotland programme, which supports communities looking to use Community Shares as a way of raising investment for an enterprise project. See

If a group is thinking of taking ownership of a property, or starting a trust, what should they do first?

"Find out as much information as they can about the property, and then if it is local authority or other public body owned, get in touch with COSS (see website above).

To find out about setting up a development trust, take a look at the DTAS website and then get in touch with us!  

Do you have any examples of arts organisations starting up trusts or running their own premises?

"Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Edinburgh is a development trust which has a strong arts focus. There's also Glenkens Community & Arts Trust in Castle Douglas (pictured)."

Where can people go for more information about DTAS and how you can help them?

"You can visit our website - - to find out more, and get in touch with us on tel: 0131 220 2456 or email: [email protected] to find out if and how we can help."