Wyler to lead ‘ambitious’ merged organisation

Wyler to lead ‘ambitious’ merged organisation

Chrisanthi Giotis, Social Enterprise Magazine


Development Trusts Association (DTA) director Steve Wyler is to lead Locality, the new organisation that will be created by the merger of the DTA and Basssac, it was announced today.


The merger between the two organisations that support community enterprise and community action has been in the planning stage for over a year and Locality will officially launch in April.


Wyler said the new organisation will be a movement ‘ambitious for change’.


‘I am delighted to be appointed to this role, leading a movement that will truly realise the possibility that exists in every community,’ said Wyler.


‘It will transform our sense of what people acting locally can achieve and it will be a movement ambitious for change.’


Bassac CEO Ben Hughes made it clear at the outset of the merger process that he would not be contesting for the leadership of the new organisation and instead moving on to other projects.


In an exclusive interview on the merger process, which will appear in the January issue of Social Enterprise, Hughes says his decision took ‘the heat out of what is traditionally contested territory with mergers’.


Commenting on today’s announcement, Hughes said: ‘Steve has huge ability and is absolutely right to lead the new organisation, driving forward change for our combined membership.


‘Together, we have worked to create a new movement which will support communities to bring about the change needed in their neighbourhoods.’


Bassac, which represents settlements and social action centres, has 118 members and the DTA has 470.


Both organisations were growing at a rate of about 5-10 per cent when they decided to merge and Wyler and Hughes told Social Enterprise that the decision was not based on a need to merge but rather a vision of creating a stronger movement that brought together social action and social enterprise in communities.


The merger was supported by members of both Bassac and DTA, with votes in favour of 96 per cent and 97 per cent respectively.


The new chair of Locality is Joanna Holmes, CEO of Barton Hill Settlement in Bristol. Holmes is current chair of Bassac.


Hughes will leave Bassac at the end of January.