New Blog – Chapelton of Elsick

Posted: 17 October 2011, in Blog

Chapelton of Elsick

The good folk of Aberdeenshire are supporting a 9000 home new town development on land owned by the Duke of Fife (Lord Southesk) near Newtonhill. Good for them.

My reaction is not the usual one about housing standards, the environment, retail space, sustainability etc but one of who will get to live there and what sort of place it is intended to become. Hopefully not just an executive commuter satellite to Aberdeen.

Can I suggest that the Coalition invite his Lordship’s son, David Southesk, to make a wee presentation to members about his vision for the place etc? Over lunch, our leadership could ask him if he has considered the benefits of social entrepreneurs developing a sense of community amongst his new residents. For example, I imagine he has not thought about having a Development Trust involved in the development of this new community – but I could be wrong. DTAS can keep me/us right.

However, let’s face it, once the developers have gone and the houses and gardens have bedded in, what will the folk there do with and to each other? I’d like to think that there are at least 10 social enterprise opportunities for any spanking new community – answers on a postcard please.

Apart from its rural location and access to the A90, a big bit of empty farmland must give some of us a few ideas and I for one would be delighted to see this new community throw up some award winning and highly innovative social enterprises. Compare and contrast this with “The Donald’s” development up the road.

Maybe its time our leadership and staff got up there to chat with a few folk. Personally, I’d ask the locals if they were interested in putting the place on the map by doing something genuinely innovative, entrepreneurial and world class. I’d take our best social entrepreneurs on a meet and greet visit and who knows, perhaps in time Chapelton of Elsick will become a new “New Lanark”. After all, we all like to talk about that as a Scottish example of genius but “fair’s fair” Owen was after all a Welshman. We need the Doric speakers to do us proud.


NOTE: This blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition or endorse any political position.