Ideas and projects with scope: The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Total budget £140,000

Existing space we wish to develop as a teaching kitchen

Community teaching kitchen

2023-01-26  •  judy.crabb  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund


Heart of Newhaven Community are developing the former Victoria Primary School, Newhaven as an intergenerational community hub, ‘The Heart’. We have three themes, identified by community consultation: culture and heritage, learning and enterprise and community well being with a common thread of intergenertaional practice.Our aim is that ‘Through partnership working and community engagement we seek to reduce isolation, challenge and remove barriers to participation and create opportunities for people of all ages, from all walks of life and with a variety of interests, to come together. Our intergenerational hub will help people experience, share and exchange culture and heritage, engage in formal and informal learning and develop business and enterprise skills in an accessible and welcoming environment that contributes to the positive wellbeing of our community.

The proposed development of a teaching kitchen will be an important facility of The Heart and contribute to our aim. It will complement the partnership wotk we are already doing with Homestart in the development of a community garden within the curtliege of The Heart and with Mwamba in our 'pots of herbs' project. Other organisations and groups keen to work with us in developing and using the facility include Edinburgh Community Food, Leith Pantry and the Ukrainian community. We also have close links to Friends of Victoria Park and Victoria Allotments who would provide a seasonal input of fruit and vegetables to the kitchen for community use.

T2T: Trash into Treasure

Trash into treasure.

2023-02-10  •  ec10  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

The project aims to adopt eco-friendly practices, reduce structural socioeconomic inequalities, improve wellbeing through art, and reduce consumerism.

Scotland intends to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045. This environmental strategy includes waste management as a key element. To become a zero-waste society with a circular economy, Scotland must increase resource reuse, recycling, and recovery while decreasing waste production. To help towards this goal, we must all reduce the number of things we consume, reuse items rather than throw them away, and recycle everyday waste materials at home, school, and work. It is not always easy to change our habits, but we can all take small steps to slow or stop climate change. And we must all work together!

The Trash into Treasure project aims to improve connections between South and North Edinburgh and to unite our efforts to combat climate change. Trash will be given artistic value during the project through creative repurposing (Treasure). We will teach science and co-create art with primary school pupils (at Bruntsfield Primary School and 14 other schools in Edinburgh) and local communities in both South and North Edinburgh. We will collaborate with professional artists, teachers, local groups, neighbourhoods, and community hubs (the Eric Liddell Centre, North Edinburgh Arts, and the West Pilton Neighbourhood Centre) to host creative art workshops using waste materials, hold public talks about waste reuse, recycling, and repurposing, and develop educational materials for primary schools in Edinburgh!

A happy, healthy cohousing community

Cohousing: a response to climate, diversity, affordability and social inclusion

2023-02-04  •  janwoolley  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Help us develop community led and co-operative Cohousing: sustainable, low carbon buildings, healthy living, mutual support, fairness  and affordability. We promote Cohousing to deliver inter-generational wellbeing and raise awareness about the multiple benefits that would result.  We hope to lay the foundations for the first Cohousing community in Edinburgh. 

Research in three US Cohousing Communities shows that residents contribute just 10% of the US annual average greenhouse gas emissions - the 90% reduction required by the IPCC studies.  Help us develop a Cohousing model for Edinburgh!  

We will hire a Community Outreach Coordinator to organise several collaborative events that develop mutual learning about needs among groups with protected characteristics (disability, faith, age). Through joint working, we will foster the leadership skills and enthusiasm for low carbon living among local and identity-based communities within Edinburgh. We will hire a person who understands how to communicate our developing vision and a specialist to advise on low carbon and sustainable design and construction, to initiate the creation of an ‘intentional community'. 

We will also seek legal and financial advice.  We will spend money on the open public events including room hire, external speakers and related expenses. We will develop a new model for resilient low carbon neighbourhoods adapting Sociocracy / dynamic governance - collaboration using consent based decisions.






Regenerative Consultancy for 5 grass-roots projects plus ongoing network

2023-02-12  •  jakewolflawy  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

We are Regenerate Edinburgh

an Open Collective of Activist Consultants specialising in Regenerative Development work created by Regenesis, Accredited Carbon Literacy Training, Restorative Justice and Mediation and non-hierarchical self-organising.

We want to bring highest quality consultancy to Citizen-led grass-roots projects for free and in so doing establish the Regenerative Practitioner Guild (RPG) of Edinburgh.

  • Would your project, volunteer group or Community Council benefit from indepth year long professional support to integrate a Regenerative approach to governance, decision making and strategy?

  • Email us at if you are interested to know more

Our Project

All across Edinburgh there are courageous hardworking people, engaged in holding this city together as a community and making it the special place that we know and love.

Our ecologically grounded Bioregional approach exists to give back to and invest in the volunteers and community leaders who quietly hold our city together for the vast majority to enjoy. 

Democracy cannot function without educated and empowered citizens.  Why? No matter how good cutting edge sustainability ideas may be, if they are only delivered top down then it is always likely to feel like an imposition from the outside and thus hit resistance.  In contrast, when a community is genuinely galvanized around what it really cares about, there is no limit to what can be achieved, nor the efficiency, effectiveness and depth of the solution. We see this as in fact the very essence of democracy.

We will help 5 local projects shift out of fire fighting mode and reconnect with the core reason why they exist. We will help them to identify how they can magnify their effectiveness within their community and provide meaningful ways into action for hundreds if not thousands of their members and users.   Each project will function as a seed from which much greater and deeper change can build. Embedding bioregional awareness in our communities is an investment which through our self-funded Regenerative practitioner network will give fruit for decades.   

A healthy bioregion is a massive natural carbon sink, and can be incredibly productive of food and energy using methods that would make it a net-positive carbon sink.  Edinburgh is the capital city of this country and therefore has disproportionate influence over how things go at a national level.  As citizens we can strengthen the fundamental resilience of the City to systemic shocks from the global food system, energy markets and international political changes by creating healthy dynamics between the City and the rural context in which it is nested. Through our choices as Edinburgh residents we can make Edinburgh, as a city, a driver of and marketplace for Regeneration region wide and in so doing make Edinburgh a genuine leader in tackling the root causes of CEE globally.

Edinburgh was once known as a Thought Leader for all of Europe, laying the ground for modernity and democracy as we know it.  Edinburgh World Heritage calls Edinburgh the ‘City of Genius’ for this very reason. The famous phrase: ‘We take it as self evident that all men are created Equal’ was directly inspired by the Scottish Enlightenment.

Climate and Ecological Emergency is the perfect opportunity to take history into our hands, renew the spirit of Edinburgh and create a new wave of civic participation and civic pride.  Taking care of the places and people who we love, should not be a sideshow. Investing in resident-led initiative is the safest and surestway forward.

Please support us to support those who are already working and volunteering for the benefit of all.  

In one year we will present 5 case studies showing what is possible from the grass roots up; what we hope is that by then you will already be directly involved.

Our first IMBY project

IMBY Powers Up!

2023-02-10  •  Fleur Dijkman (PAS)  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Meet IMBY. He’s not from around here – he’s from another galaxy! IMBY was flying in his spaceship when it ran out of energy and crash landed on Earth. It’s down to the kids of Edinburgh to teach IMBY about our community and the elements that fuel it, so he can power his spaceship.

Through a series of hands-on activities, IMBY Powers Up! inspires primary 5 to 7 pupils to learn about their energy supply, create a vision of a sustainable Edinburgh, and have their say in a better future. Building on our previous successes, and driven by a team of specialists, our project will reach over 100 primary school pupils across Edinburgh, in five or more schools.

IMBY Powers Up! is made of four lessons:

Lesson 1 – IMBY Explores Your Community

Students meet IMBY through an animated video. A planning professional visits the classroom to discuss what different communities look like and environmental challenges they face - we call this “placemaking”. Students explore Edinburgh aerially, with a focus on where they live.

Lesson 2 – IMBY Links Land and Energy Usage

Students discuss various forms of renewable and non-renewable energy and refer to the aerial community map to identify links between land and energy usage. Students consider the ways in which our energy usage has changed the landscape over the years with an art project. They then examine the impacts of climate change in a few different communities.

Lesson 3 – IMBY Discovers Renewable Energy

Students think about how our energy usage has changed the landscape over the years and add their new discoveries to their art project. Students interact with IMBY to explain key issues related to the use of renewable energy and analyse how these issues affect their local community.

Lesson 4 – IMBY Gets Energised

Students relate valued parts of their community to energy usage. They consider how civil engagement impacts the planning process as it relates to energy forms and consumption.

Where does the name IMBY come from?

In 2011 to 2016, PAS delivered a successful national project called IMBY, taking the N out of NIMBY to make “In My Back Yard”. IMBY is a cartoon alien who arrived on earth and wanted to learn about why our local areas look the way they do. Through our project, over 500 primary school pupils engaged in active citizenship by focusing on relevant issues such as mobile phone masts, community gardens, shops and waste/recycling.

This project is our sequel, inspiring primary pupils to learn about their energy supply, create a vision of a sustainable Edinburgh fuelled by renewables, and have their say in a better future.

Outdoor Cooking

Foraging a Feast at Forest Friday - with Trees and Seas Outdoor Adventures

2023-02-10  •  jillpurves  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Foraging a Feast at Forest Fridays

Our project - Foraging a Feast at Forest Fridays - will provide weekly outdoor sessions to children aged 6-12, teaching practical and sustainable skills based on the food growing cycle: planning; planting; harvesting and foraging food from that grows wild on the sites, working in partnership with two community gardens: Transition Edinburgh South (TES) trading as Gracemount Community Garden at Gracemount Mansion Development and Bridgend Farmhouse Community Allotments situated next to Craigmillar Castle Park. Children will use what they’ve grown to cook healthy food and will share a hot meal together at the sessions, a perfect activity for nurturing neighbourhood relationships. Both gardens are situated in areas of high deprivation.

Sessions will run during term-time for a year starting Spring 2023 and will benefit approximately 30 children each week. There will be gardening clubs throughout the holidays to maintain the plots supported by the community gardeners from both locations. The local produce grown by the children will be available for the community as well as the parents and carers to take home for free so that the families can benefit from fresh, organic ‘field to fork’ food.

Sessions are fully inclusive. We expect that 40-50% of the children in each session will have Additional Support Needs such as Autism, ADHD, and Down Syndrome. Our organisation Trees and Seas Outdoor Adventures is one of the main outdoor play/forest schools in Edinburgh that offers outdoor learning to children with Additional needs and disabilities. This funding will help us to continue to reduce both the barriers of disability and deprivation, allowing children of all abilities and circumstances to benefit from exploring and enjoying the natural spaces in their local communities. They will learn to care for and take pride in their environment, generating both climate resilience and sustainable-focused learning.

Forest Friday sessions were established in 2019. Connecting with these communities for four years has allowed us to work in a responsive way; recent feedback suggested that we offer food-focused activities. Lauren 12years said: ‘more cooking!’, Isobel 10years said ‘maybe something other than soup?’ and one of our parents asked: ‘can you continue to offer seasonal cooking, foraging and other things related to nature?’. If successful, the funding would allow us to continue to run this important community service free of charge.

Outdoor Cooking photos


“Making Gayfield Square Gardens Even Better”

2023-02-11  •  neil.gilmour  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Friends of Gayfield Square Gardens (FGSG) was formally established in 2021 to enhance the existing garden as a welcoming community space and to encourage biodiversity in its city centre location. The value of this approach was first recognised during the pandemic when the desire for open space and to enjoy nature saw an unprecedented use by the community. To maintain the gardens in good condition considerable work and collaboration with CEC Parks department is required.  The immediate aim is to enhance the garden so that it continues to be an open green inclusive space to reach out for nature, enjoy the beauty of plants as well as act as a community meeting point. This is wholly in line with the creation of attractive and accessible green public spaces in Edinburgh and the principles and practical aspects of the “20-minute neighbourhood” initiative. This will help reduce car use and strengthen cross-community relationships.


Hibernian Community Foundation - Club Together Lunch & Social Cafe

2023-02-09  •  lewis.melee  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

Club Together Lunch & Social Cafe will provide hot meals and warm spaces to community mmebers of Edinburgh and the Lothians. Lunches will also be used to inform, educate and deliver practical ways people can save money at home through carbon emission reducing measures. 

This project will be delivered in the following ways:

  • At community lunch clubs, demonstrating to our guests how meals can be prepared from locally sourced food and items collected from Fareshare that may otherwise go to landfill. We will provide information, ingredients and recipes to enable people to recreate meals at home. Working with community food partners, we have sessions on how meals can be produced at a low cost (Empty Kitchens Full Hearts, EKFH) and safely through ‘REHIS – Eating Well For Older People’ with Edinburgh Community Food.


  • We will create warm banks at our lunch and social cafe, enabling community members to switch off their household heating.  We host a clothing bank, book swap, free wi-fi and device training, and a range of activities for children which include arts, books, table tennis, pool table and board games.


  • In partnership with charities delivering meals to people’s homes, creating food distribution hubs where those attending lunches are given access to food provision lasting several days. This would reduce the number of deliveries charities, such as EKFH currently undertake in Edinburgh and the levels of energy required to cook from fresh at home.  In addition, for those able to visit our stadium, we will address the impact of social isolation and loneliness by enjoying communal eating with the assistance of welcoming volunteers who can signpost to further opportunities.


  • We will work with our private sector partners such as Utilita, who currently fund our Bright Sparks, environmental and energy awareness programme delivered in Edinburgh primary schools. Through engaging with Utilita’s community team, we will distribute materials such as reusable containers and facilitate talks on energy saving measures that can be introduced in the home, workplace and school. This material has been adapted to cater for all ages and a variety of languages, leading to significant energy saving. 


2023-02-11  •  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund


The gilmerton community garden has been evolving over the last couple of years with a smal  but dedicated group of volunteers working to develop the unused space around gilmerton community centre with the garden now having fully accessible surfacing, raised beds to grow produce, wilder areas that encourage biodiversity and outdoor learning shelter, we are now at a point of being able to safely welcome the wider community into this wondeful space.  with a sustainable communnity coordinator in place, we hope to offer a varied programme of oppurtunities, activities and events that will connect and explore what the garden can provide to work being done elsewhere in the centre and wider community, such as the pantry service, mental health support groups, day services and play groups.

With the manybenefits of nature connection being highlighted through the recent pandemic, Gilmerton community centre is perfectly placed to offer its community a safe and welcoming space in which to meet this essential need, through both facilitated sessions and free public access.  The candidate would develop a programme of workshops to enhance a nature connection, improve biodiversity, foster environmental awareness and develop community artworks that reflect these themes.  In collaboration with local artists and makers , we hope to create pieces that highlight and celebrate the involvement of a wide variety of community members, creaing a sense of pride in, and active stewardship of, this wonderful community asset.  We see the new outdoor shelter structure in the heart of the garden becoming an accesible social hub, which everyone will be welcome to make use of.

We hope to build an outdoor cooking area, ideally engaging a sessional worker and local secondary school students to use heritage skills and natural bilding materials to construct a clay oven for community for community use.

The candidate would then look to set up social cooking sessions, using produce provided by the pantry service and grown in the garden.  It is hoped that the current well used pantry service, will evolve to become part of a permanent community kitchen space within the centre, which this project would allow the initial development of.  Further supporting the development of the growing areas, we hope to be able to provide fresh, seasonal produce for the pantry service to distribute.  

Enabling the whole community to benefit from outdoor programmes, learning new skills, gain confidence and improve their health and well being.  The person working within this new role will be based in the garden and community centre 14 hours per week.  They would be visible to local people and have a very hands on approach, with an ability to connect and network with a variety of organisations, key stakeholders an potential volunteers.  The role would also include promoting the project through local contacts, coomunity networks and social media, to raise its profile and encourage everyone to get involved.


Niddrie Mill Community Market Garden

2023-02-10  •  paul  •  The Edinburgh Community Climate Fund

We are planning to start a Community Market Garden at Niddrie Mill Grove. CAT has been granted planning permission and a lease from City of Edinburgh Council for this project, and we have carried out a survey of local residents who are generally supportive.

The garden would be established and maintained by local volunteers, assisted by our Growing Youth team, managed by an experienced Community Gardener. Participation will be open to all and produce would be shared among participants and the local community on a similar basis to other gardens maintained by Craigmillar Growers.

The design for the garden includes vegetable beds and ‘forest garden’ patches of fruit trees and bushes; one or more polytunnels for growing tender crops (eg tomatoes, peppers) and extending the growing season; raised beds which would improve access for participants with mobility issues; and a community shed, similar to those built by CAT at neighbourhood gardens in Magdalene and Bingham, where participants can meet and socialise as well as store tools and equipment. The garden would also be fenced for security reasons.

At present CAT is awaiting confirmation of funding for continuing our work on Craigmillar Growers and other community food/green space projects. However the funding we have applied for does not include the capital costs of developing the Niddrie Mill garden. Funding from ECCF would enable us to make a start on the project in 2023, by building raised beds, planting fruit trees and bushes, adding compost and cultivating the ground. While establishing the garden we will also be looking for additional funding for the shed, polytunnels, fence and other elements of the design.