Rural social enterprise charities merge to form Plunkett Scotland

Community Retailing Network becomes part of Plunkett Foundation under deal that will 'bring additional resources'

The Plunkett Foundation, a support organisation for rural social enterprises, has merged with the Scotland-based Community Retailing Network.

A spokeswoman for the Plunkett Foundation said CRN became part of the foundation at the start of the year and was changing its name to Plunkett Scotland.

Kirsty MacColl, CRN’s coordinator and sole employee, will stay on as a community adviser in Scotland. Another person will be recruited to work alongside her.

The Plunkett Foundation has 20 full-time staff and an annual turnover of £3m. CRN’s turnover is £35,000, according to its most recent accounts.

The two organisations have previously worked together to support community shops and will continue to support community enterprise in Scotland. Their work will also expand to cover businesses such as community-owned pubs.

Norman MacDonald, chair of the CRN, will form part of a Plunkett advisory board for Scotland, with another seven members to be recruited. Of the other CRN board members, one, Bill Gray, currently a member of the boards of both organisations, will continue in his existing role.

Peter Couchman, chief executive of Plunkett Foundation, said: "The creation of Plunkett Scotland and the additional resources this will bring will create even more opportunities for rural communities to take control of the issues important to them."

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