The Crichton Institute, a Research Institution in Glasgow University, hosted a Roundtable on Community Benefits, Infrastructures and Major Capital Investments. Hosted by Professor Carol Hill, Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Director of Campus and of the Crichton Institute, the roundtable was organised by Dr Cristina Orsatti, Associate Researcher in Regeneration, facilitated by Professor Ian Cooper, and chaired by Professor Denis Fischbacher-Smith.
Experts from a range of backgrounds and regional stakeholder groups gathered together on 5th December 2017 in Dumfries. The event was aimed at enhancing an understanding of facilities and barriers for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to access major capital investments in the region. The group also discussed obstacles to engaging local SMEs, local and national procurement, and the relationship between the local supply chain and major contractors. The purposes of community benefits, their long-term impact on local communities, businesses, inclusive growth and regional regeneration was also on the table for debate.
Experts in policy, the built environment, local economic strategies, inequalities, planning came from across the UK, along with representatives from local businesses, industry, the public and third sector. The diversity of the group added considerably to the conversation. The roundtable experts felt that Community benefits can be more than jobs and skills, and that the mix of backgrounds Anthropology, Built Environment, Economics, Sociology plus Geography was positive. The variety of views represented contributed to rich discussion that was relevant to current developments in relation to the economic, social and strategic development of the region. Finally, that there was scope for innovation through local, and regional knowledge exchange and research networks.