Achieving Community Empowerment (ACE) 

National community capacity building programme

In 2009, SCDC was awarded 5 years funding from the Big Lottery Fund to deliver the Achieving Community Empowerment (ACE) capacity building programme in Scotland. 

The programme aims to build the capacity of community groups by providing mentoring support, developing learning materials, facilitating the sharing of knowledge, experience and learning between participating projects and communicating key lessons more widely.  This is the final year fo the programme which will run until September 2014.

Throughout the programme we have been working with around 10 groups per year to support them to assess the motivations and capacities of their own organisation, and those they seek to Big Lottery Funded logoinfluence or work with. We will encourage groups to build awareness and support in their community, and to build the evidence to support the case for change. 

Such change may involve establishing community-run services or facilities; working with public agencies through community planning processes, or advocating through other means. This will be done through a series of structured workshops that focuses on the four key considerations in effective community action: assessment, planning, doing and reviewing. 

We are also developing a toolkit which draws on a range of good practice materials and ensure shared learning takes place with and between participants so that lessons learned can be shared across the statutory, voluntary and community sectors.

The ACE Programme ran from 2009 to 2014.


A short report containing profiles of the ten groups involved in year 1 of the ACE programme is now available.  Download the ACE - Group Profiles report.

Another capacity building programme which is funded under the Dynamic Inclusive Communities Fund is Our Community Our Future, delivered by Foundation Scotland, which is designed to provide support to a small number of new and emerging groups to develop their capacity to influence change within their community.  For more information, please visit

The ACE Guide 

The Achieving Community Empowerment process is intended to help community groups and organisations become more confident, better organised and more effective in achieving their aims. The ACE Guide has been put together to help community grouips take the appropriate steps to become more effective. As such, this guide will be helpful for community workers and others who want to encourage stronger and more active communities.

This guide has been developed as part of the Achieving Community Empowerment (ACE) programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund, and delivered by the Scottish Community Development Centre.

You can find the online version of the ACE Guide here, or download a PDF version here.