SCATA has its roots in a proposal in the 2009 Broomley and Stocksfield Parish Plan to establish a community-led development trust.
A development trust is a community led, not for profit organisation; its major focus is on trading, developing and managing assets for the benefit of local people. The main objective was to create a body that could do things for the village that could not be done by the Parish Council, and to do these things in a way that recycled any surplus for direct community benefit.
A Steering Group was established with Pete Duncan and Norman Hooks from the Parish Council and a number of interested parties from the village including the community association, churches, the G.P. Surgery and individual residents. This first met on 21 March 2011.
Supported by Social Enterprise Northumberland (part of Northumberland County Council) the group met regularly, with the initial purpose of exploring opportunities and identifying how the initiative might be progressed. Given the priorities in the Parish Plan, it was quickly agreed that the initial focus of the organisation should be on affordable housing. No new affordable homes had been built in the village for the past 25 years. Two potential development sites, at Guessburn and Branch End emerged to give impetus to the project.
There were then detailed discussions about the nature and structure of the trust. The conclusion of these deliberations, based on strong advice from Social Enterprise Northumberland, was that rather than setting up a completely new organisation we should use an existing one – Stocksfield Community Association. The Community Association, which has owned and managed the Community Centre since 1958, was already a charitable company limited by guarantee with governing articles allowing it to form a trading arm .The Steering Group approached the Community Association board asking its approval to become involved and, following discussions and further assistance from Social Enterprise Northumberland, the Community Association board agreed to form a trading arm.
Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA) was registered with Companies House on 1 May 2012. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Community Association and is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Its rules require it to operate for community benefit.
With an initial focus on affordable housing SCATA, working in partnership with the Parish Council, commissioned a detailed housing needs survey. Undertaken in September and October 2012 it was carried out by Eljay Research and the report was published in November of that year. The report clearly demonstrated a demand for affordable housing in the village, with a clear community requirement that any new homes be built on previously developed land – not in the green belt, which surrounds the village.
The first project has been completed resulting in seven affordable homes on two brownfield sites within the village. This was undertaken in collaboration with Isos, a large not for profit housing association, based in Newcastle. The project was supported with funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Planning permission was granted in September 2013 and construction finally began in the autumn of 2014. The Guessburn element of the development was officially opened by Alan Milburn on 1 May 2015 while the bungalow on New Ridley Road was completed in summer 2015 . Together, the seven homes represent the first affordable honmes to be built in Stocksfield for decades.