Investment projects with scope: The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Total budget £140,000

Community harvest meal at Lauriston Farm, in 2022

Community Outdoor Kitchen - all food free!

2023-02-10  •  2 comments  •  erin  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Lauriston Farm - Scotland's largest urban farm - would use this funding to build an outdoor community kitchen, where residents of the local area can cook and share fresh, locally grown food, in a communal setting. Not only will this put free, nutritious food in the hands of anyone who needs it, but our meals will offer an opportunity for folk to sit down and chat together, connecting with their neighbours over delicious grub.  

The kitchen itself will also be constructed with the community,  as part of the project. We plan to run:

- 10 workshops to teach building techniques and construct an earthen shelter using earth and straw. 

- 4 facilitator-led workshops to build the clay oven.

- 30 scheduled gatherings - held throughout the growing season - for communal cooking and eating.  

Our earthen construct will provide enough shelter even during poor weather, and we'll supply all the facilities required to cook and share meals, using food from our allotments, our thriving market garden and surplus from partner organisations in the area. From plot to plate, our shared meals result in zero food miles, contain no processed ingredients and a negligible carbon footprint!  

The community kitchen has been developed as an idea with the input of our allotment holders: not only to give them a space to socialise and eat after working hard in their gardens, but to extend that welcome - and their surplus produce - to the rest of the local community. In 2023 we'll be releasing more plots to local residents, so contact us through to express your interest! 



A community heat fair, retrofit roadshow and panel discussion, Portobello 11/22

Edinburgh Building Retrofit & Improvement Collective

2023-02-12  •  1 comment  •  CommunityLedRetrofitGroups  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Warmer homes, lower fuel bills, reduced carbon emissions, and happier communities through the Edinburgh Building Retrofit and Improvement Collective. 

If you are a homeowner or private rental tenant our community-led approach could benefit you!


Your vote will help us empower communities to own the retrofit of their buildings, to gain funding, and carry out upgrade works to get better, cheaper results more easily. Doing so will lower heating costs, reduce carbon emissions, and positively impact the value of people’s homes. We exist to help people get better results working together, in communities.


If successful, the funding will do this by accelerating the development of Edinburgh Building Retrofit & Improvement Collective, an existing voluntary organisation. We will engage a project officer and be able to fund the resources to: 

  • hold events like retrofit roadshows;

  • create a website for citizens to get advice;

  • provide forums to share experiences and get support; 

  • create ‘how to’ guides for setting up formal associations, applying for funding, submitting for planning consents and procuring contractors to carry out work, providing these guides for free to community groups;

  • connect groups to support from local architects, skilled tradespeople and other specialists, and 

  • collectively be a unified voice for communities to speak to council, funders, and other authorities.


Any questions? Ask away here. If you want to get in touch directly, you can send us an email.


We’re already working with a number of partners. This funding will help us support more groups and build the resource-base quicker to meet the urgent needs of the cost of living crisis and climate change.

Our initial partners alongside EALA Impacts CIC are: 


Please note: This application is intended to be complementary to the application from Porty Community Energy and Edinburgh Tool Library ('Cosy Homes and Cargo Bikes'), which includes practical workshops for all in home energy efficiency improvement skills and introductions to potential retrofit actions, as well as local assistance in the forming of community groups.

Harvesting Oyster mushrooms at our farm.

Micro Mushroom Farms For Three Community Cafes

2023-02-10  •  7 comments  •  marcotenconi  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

We want to set up small farms in three community cafes around Edinburgh: training volunteers from these spaces to transform waste including cardboard and coffee from their cafes into delicious nutritious food they can cook and use in their cafe’s kitchens.


Being able to grow our own food indoors from local waste is a really valuable skill in a time of increasing climate instability which threatens outdoor crops. Indoor mushroom cultivation can be practised year round at household or community levels which is very significant in a country where we have to import 90% of our fresh produce in winter.

The aims of the project are to  1) reduce waste and emissions by growing food with zero food miles from waste within cafes 2) engage new audiences in food growing, and its links to climate change by offering an accessible year-round indoor food growing project 3) Train people in mushroom cultivation skills to build resilience in our communities 4) build connections across Edinburgh by starting a network of community micro mushroom farms.

The funds would be used to pay for a mix of material and staff costs. These include the material costs of building an automated mini mushroom farm and the supplies needed to run it for a year. In a space the size of a cupboard we can set up a mushroom farm able to grow over 10 kilos of fresh mushrooms every month. The grow space would be located in a public facing part of the cafes to allow people to enjoy watching the beautiful mushrooms grow. 


The staff costs would cover extensive training for volunteers from the three community spaces we partner with. This training would include: a tour of our own mushroom farm; time spent with volunteers building their own micro-farm; 5 follow up sessions at the cafes where we carry out the mushroom ‘inoculations’ together, a special session on cooking mushrooms and some follow-up check-ins and support.


Because mushroom cultivation can be practised indoors year round, sat at a table, without the need to stoop like most forms of food growing it is accessible for people with mobility issues, be that because of age or disability. Mushrooms also have a very short cropping cycle, taking only a few weeks to grow - making them an exciting project for the short attention span of children. We plan to use these features to engage a diverse group of people who may not usually participate in food production. As a final part of this project we would bring together people from the three cafes to take part in shared events, including meals. This would be an opportunity to share their experiences learning to grow mushrooms, and form a diverse network from across the city of new community mushroom growers.

Wee Spoke Hub by SHRUB Coop

Wee Spoke Hub

2023-02-12  •  1 comment  •  SHRUB Cooperative  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

The Wee Spoke Hub is an inclusive community bicycle hub and workshop space where we aim to help make cycling an affordable, attractive and accessible mode of sustainable transportation for everyday use. By applying to the Edinburgh Climate Community Fund, we aim to reopen the Wee Spoke Hub and design new workshops for under-represented groups in cycling, such as women, LGBTQ+ groups, BAME communities and people experiencing homelessness. 

The workshops will help us rebuild engagement to continue offering tools and expertise to those experiencing barriers to cycling and sustainable travel. Through our programme of activities, we will offer access to learning opportunities and mentoring; provide and help users gain affordable travel support to access services, leisure activities and job opportunities; and increase their independence and social connection.

Due to SHRUB’s deep implantation in the circular economy and its strong history of activism for ecological and social justice, the Wee Spoke Hub is particularly well-placed to offer access to the benefits of cycling to under-represented groups in the cycling community and help Edinburgh Council reach our goals for change to a better future.

cosy homes and cargo bikes.png

Cosy Homes and Cargo Bikes

2023-02-11  •  8 comments  •  PCE&EdinburghToolLibrary  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Heating and transport are two areas where community climate action can have the biggest impact. 


Currently, 30% of UK Energy use is within our homes and we know there’s significant wastage of energy - particularly through heating. Would you like some support from your community to do some improvements to make your home more energy efficient, more comfortable, and save on heating bills? 


Whether you rent or own your home we would like to connect local volunteers with energy and building experts who can demystify the processes involved. 


There will be practical workshops available to all. We will create demonstration kits and organise bulk buying of materials and labour to help people make the work as effective and affordable as possible. We believe connecting skilled people with households, offering free resources and supporting people to negotiate the barriers collectively will make significant differences to health, wellbeing and we will see less carbon emissions created through home energy use.  


We will support groups of neighbours to come together and begin the process of creating a shared buildings plan. This involves coming to an understanding, through surveys and expert advice, what the route would be to collectively transform existing housing stock into energy efficient homes. We will do this in liaison with EdinBRIC, the city wide retrofit collective.


We will also set up a Cargo Bike Library and Active Travel Hub in the centre of Portobello. We aim to make e-Cargo Cycles accessible to all and you are welcome to borrow one for a ride along the coast or to help you move stuff around. We will look after three cargo cycles, which are especially designed to carry kids, dogs or goods. They will be lent out for day loans, and used by community projects like the Community Fridge. We will offer training to get you started and support riders of all confidence levels. There’s a sturdy trike or sleek 2-wheeler to choose from so something to suit everyone. It’s impossible to ride one without an enormous grin! The Hub will also offer travel advice, routes and bus information. It will support our car-share club and we will set-up local lift-sharing opportunities. Whatever you need to help you reduce the amount of miles you travel by car, we will be there to help.  

From Donated to Gifted. Giving old tech a new lease of life

Tech Donation Boxes for Schools – An easy way to dispose of e-waste and do good

2023-02-09  •  1 comment  •  barbara  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Edinburgh Remakery wants to encourage young people within local Edinburgh schools to engage in courageous conversations around environmental sustainability, particularly related to e-waste. Our project will give them the opportunity to get involved in a sustainable project which encourages achievable actions they can take to support the climate and help their local communities reduce their carbon emissions.

Our Tech Donation Box for Schools programme will see the manufacture of five donation boxes which will be placed within primary and secondary schools across Edinburgh. They provide an easy way for people to pass on their old devices, such as laptops and phones, for them to be repaired and reused, or responsibly recycled. These will allow young people to engage with the circular economy and learn simple methods to reduce their waste. This project also allows students to support their local communities, as a portion of all the devices that are donated through our Tech Donation Boxes, go on to support our Tech Gifting Project and are given for free to people in need across Edinburgh.

All donated devices are securely wiped of data and categorised for repair, refurbishment and reuse. If they cannot be repaired or refurbished, they are broken down into component parts which are then used to repair other devices or are responsibly recycled so that as little as possible goes to waste.

Our project will engage with:

  • 15 schools across Edinburgh
  • Young people within schools and their friends & families
  • Individuals and families facing digital poverty through our Tech Gifting Programme

To promote our project, we will engage with school heads, the leadership and sustainability teams  A ‘Programme Pack’ will be distributed to each school, outlining the programme and its benefits in taking part. We will develop core messages around e-waste that the school can use in its communications, and details of how the school can help promote its participation and impact.

Our CEO will visit each of the participating schools to deliver a presentation about e-waste, and its impact on the environment, and explain how the Tech Donation Boxes provide an achievable and accessible way for people to take action, whilst promoting environmental sustainability and supporting our people and our planet.

Each participating school will receive a report at the end of the term which details the number of devices they have helped to save, and their carbon savings. Schools will also be eligible to enter our Environmental Champion Awards and have the opportunity to be awarded a prize for their participation in the project.

Our aim is to not only spark important conversations about climate change but to also provide ways for young people to take positive action to help Edinburgh become a greener city and help it meet its net zero targets.  

Food and sometimes flowers to bring cheer to those who need it most!

Cargo Bike Movement Food Sharing Project

2023-02-10  •  15 comments  •  CargoBikeMovement  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

This fund would enable us to pay our Volunteer Coordinator full time to manage and grow our food sharing project. This is an essential role and without this position we would not be able to successfully continue this important work. 

Cargo Bike Movement is a charity that was established, initially informally, in April 2020 in response to the first UK Covid-19 lockdown. Since then, we have gone through the journey of being a Community Interest Company (CIC) and now a registered charity (SC051593)!

By bringing together cargo bikes and volunteers, we were able to respond to food insecurity experienced by many across the city of Edinburgh. We did this in a number of ways, such as delivering surplus supermarket food to those being accommodated in hotels, shelters, and hostels, and supporting local food banks and building partnerships with various charitable organisations across Edinburgh.

By collecting surplus food from supermarkets, we prevent these products from being wasted, which helps people and planet.

We ensure these tasty items end up on plates - where they should be - and limit the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food ‘waste’. Typically, 1 tonne of food wasted from supermarkets results in 1 kg CO2 equivalent emissions*. These greenhouse gas emissions can negatively alter our atmosphere and impact climate change.

Working through existing charities and services, we get food to those that need it in a dignified way.

Over 80,000 people in Edinburgh live in poverty, affecting almost 1 in 5 children**. Ideally, the service we and our partners deliver shouldn’t be needed, but sadly it is and we are proud to be able to offer the support that we do.

* DEFRA Conversation Factors, 2020

** Edinburgh Poverty Commission


Fresh Start - Starter Packs Project

2023-02-02  •  No comments  •  fanette  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Since 1999 Fresh Start has been supporting people moving on from homelessness to ‘make a home for themselves’ across Edinburgh. Responding to people with lived experience of homelessness we provide practical support as people move on from temporary accommodation into new unfurnished tenancies.

Our service-users typically are allocated unfurnished properties and do not have the means to purchase the goods that make a home. Fresh Start provides Starter Packs of essential household goods - crockery, pots/pans, bedding, towels - to homeless households within the first 3 days of them moving in to their new tenancies, relieving financial burden and ensuring they have the essentials they need to settle in their new home.

We supply 13 different Starter Packs of quality used-household goods which are donated by the public and local businesses. Teams of volunteers gather in these donations and sort them in our warehouse for distribution.  

In 2022 we distribute 14,430 packs and helped over 2,000 people moving out of temporary Housing. We diverted 75,500 kg (75.5 t.) of goods from landfill.