The four key drivers for the development of the Trust were:
- To reach the parts that other organisations could not reach through first rung engagement activity.
- To be a catalyst for change in the community.
- To develop and hold assets on behalf of the local community.
- To act as the ‘custodian’ of the vision for the area.
The Trust was (and is) a community led organisation and this has shaped the vision, values, the principles and the practice.
The relationship between the Trust and the three local neighbourhood forums underpins the community led approach of MCDT. The Manor and Castle Development Trust was built on the Forums; they provide the community representation to the Board and are a mechanism for participation and consultation.
Each Forum acts as a voice for local residents and acts as the interface between the residents and the Trust. MCDT provides development support to each of the Forums and a small amount of money which provides small grants to local community groups to run their own activities and some contribution to the administrative costs of the Forums.
The constitution of the Trust is unique in that the three sectors (community, public and private) which form the core partnership have equal representation and status.