Fonds SECS-CB - Chas Ball papers (part of the Social Enterprise Collection Scotland)

Identity area

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Chas Ball papers (part of the Social Enterprise Collection Scotland)


  • 1977-1988 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 box

Context area

Name of creator

(b 1948)

Biographical history

Chas Ball was a social development professional who worked in community development, recycling, sustainable transport co-ordination and as a consultant.
Chas Ball graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc (Econ) in 1970. Following graduation, he worked in London for a human rights pressure group and then for the National Union of Students (NUS), coordinating a unit to encourage wider student participation in community action and environment projects across Britain. In 1976 he was co-founder of a book and periodical distribution co-operative, when he moved to Leeds. In 1979 he started work for the Highlands and Islands Development Board (HIDB) in Inverness, as a Community Co-operatives Development Officer. Building on the success of its pioneering Community Co-operative scheme in the Western Isles, the HIDB was extending support and funding across its regions. Ball's remit was to support communities in Argyll, Highland and the islands of Orkney and Shetland to establish community co-operatives. After two years he moved to Kirkwall, in Orkney, to focus on communities in Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and North-West Sutherland.
In 1983 Ball took up a post with Leeds City Council as a Co-operative Development Officer supporting co-operatives and community enterprises in the local authority area. After three years he moved to the Projects Unit at Friends of the Earth, where he helped support local projects across England to become sustainable businesses, mainly in waste and recycling. Following this, in 1989, he became Executive Director of Save Waste and Prosper (SWAP), a community enterprise which pioneered various early recycling projects and developed a range of national research activities. SWAP provided consultancy services to clients such as ASDA, B&Q and ICI Dulux to facilitate recycling activities and review their environmental practices. After graduating with an MSc in Urban Regeneration from Sheffield Hallam University in 1999, Ball moved into sustainable transport and founded City Car Club (later acquired by Enterprise). As the first commercial car club operator in Britain, City Car Club developed a strong presence in Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Brighton. He left in 2008, continuing in the sector as a consultant and in 2010 joined national transport charity, Carplus Trust (later named CoMoUK), becoming its Chief Executive in 2011. The Trust promoted shared mobility and worked with local authorities and operators to expand car club activities and administered national funding programmes for government agencies in Scotland and England. On retirement in 2015, Ball continued to work in a voluntary capacity with several environmental and sustainable transport organisations.

Archival history

The papers were held in Chas Ball's house prior to their move to Glasgow Caledonian University.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were gifted by Chas Ball in May 2021.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection is part of the Social Enterprise Collection Scotland. The collection covers records kept by Chas Ball while working for the Highlands and Islands Development Board as a community co-operatives development officer from 1979 to 1983 and his continued interest in community development in the Highlands and Islands up to 1988. The records have been arranged into 8 files reflecting the establishment and development of the HIDB Community Co-operatives scheme, support for community enterprise and economic development in the Highlands and Islands, including:

  • Community co-operatives in Ireland (Gaeltacht) and Iceland related reports and articles, 1977-1982
  • Early phases of the Highlands and Islands Development Board (HIDB) Community Co-operatives scheme guidance and papers, 1978-1983
  • Community co-operatives in the Highlands and Islands related press cuttings, 1979-1988
  • Establishment of a development support unit for community co-operatives in the Highlands and Islands related papers, 1980-1983
  • Strategy and progress reports of the Community Co-operatives scheme following restructuring of HIDB support, 1982-1985
  • Association of Community Enterprise in the Highlands and Islands (ACE-HI) documents 1987-88
  • Land use in the Highlands and Islands related press cuttings and publications, 1987-1988
  • Miscellaneous workshop notes and reports, 1987-1988

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


None expected.

System of arrangement

The collection has been arranged into 8 files in roughly chronological order by activity.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open although access to some records may be restricted by data protection legislation.
Where this is applicable it has been included at file level.

Conditions governing reproduction

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Language of material

  • English

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