case studies
New Beginning for West Dunbartonshire
New Beginning for West Dunbartonshire
Client: West Dunbartonshire Council
Location: Scotland
West Dunbartonshire lies a few miles to the west of Glasgow, borders Loch Lomond and is essentially based on the towns and local economies of Dumbarton and Clydebank. Since the glory days of heavy industry and Singer sewing machines the local economy has been in almost permanent decline and any economic or social indicator places the local region at or near the bottom of Scotland's 32 local authority areas.

Strategic Advisory Boards are notoriously difficult to convene, far less keep to task given the busy diaries and commitments of participants. A unique and inclusive process was designed to secure early wins while at the same time developing innovative strategies for the longer term. This went some way to securing the effective engagement of Group members.

In addition the young people of West Dunbartonshire were encouraged to participate in the process with their vision of success for the local area and ideas on key actions that would make a difference.

We also developed 4 divergent scenarios for the future of West Dunbartonshire (see attached). These took the Strategic Advisory Group members out of their comfort zones and directly contributed to the selection of strategic options and indeed a number of the ideas generated made their way into the final strategy.

The four stage process enabled reflection after each stage and also allowed for full consultation with the Council's elected leaders and CEO/Directors at each stage. This ensured increased commitment to the process and buy-in to the emerging ideas.


The end result was a strategy based on 4 strategic thrusts which, taken together, would have a good chance of transforming the local economy and society. The action areas were:
  • The Big Attraction - to build and invest in a major tourism and leisure attraction to encourage the many visitors to West Dunbartonshire to stop
  • 5000 homes - a major building programme - twice that planned - to attract new families to the local are and stimulate the local townships
  • Exploiting the Care opportunity - provision of specialist care facilities for the ageing population including specialist dementia facilities. Also encouraging new business development for products and services in care related sectors and assuring Clydebank College promoted programmes aimed at equipping the local workforce in this key area
  • 1000 Jobs in 1000 days - a relatively short-term programme to stimulate employment, especially in the 18-24 age group.
The Council's executives are busy working with partner organisations to execute these strategies and plans. New partnerships and arrangements have been formed, externally and internally to develop creative solutions to the big challenges they face.

Renaissance & Co received positive feedback on the process of engagement and the quality of the emerging strategy.

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