The Quality of Life Experiment was a government initiative to improve the quality of cultural life in the community. One area in Scotland, one area in Wales and two areas in England were chosen to participate in the experiment. These areas received funding to bring in culture of all sorts to help improve people's quality of life. The area chosen in Scotland was West Dunbartonshire. This collection relates solely to the activities in West Dunbartonshire.
The invitation to participate in the experiment was extended to Dumbarton District Council in November 1973 and the first meeting of the Dumbarton District Community Development Advisory Board took place in February 1974. Three neighbourhood development groups (Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh) were established and staff appointments were made during summer 1974. The project team, consisting of a project director and three area coordinators, were in post by 1 September 1974. The project headquarters, Overtoun House, was opened on 2 September 1974. The experiment ran until August 1976. 163 community projects were assisted during the life of the experiment. The areas funded were wide-ranging and included sport, music, drama, art, festivals, children's play facilities and playschemes, youth clubs, community television and radio, and outdoor centres. An evaluation of the experiment was conducted by John Cassidy under the guidance of Jack Brand, Director of Strathclyde Area Survey, University of Strathclyde.
The collection comprises:
- Dumbarton District Community Development Advisory Board minutes, correspondence and papers
- Dumbarton Neighbourhood Development Group minutes and papers
- Vale of Leven Neighbourhood Development Group minutes and papers
- Helensburgh Neighbourhood Development Group minutes and papers
- Administrative records
- Newsletters, press releases, news cuttings, publications
- Community project applications
- Community project reports
- Evaluation reports