City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Community Groups Invited To Bid For Climate Change Cash

By edg - Posted on 07 January 2011

Cyclists on Teviot Place

Communities, small and large, across Scotland, are being encouraged to get proactive in the fight against climate change with the help of government funding. The Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) has been extended and is open to applications for the 2011/2012 round.

The CCF scheme has already invested £27.4 million in 331 community projects between its launch in 2008 and 2011. Officials estimate that the carbon savings has been 696,212 tonnes - the equivalent of taking 225,000 cars off Scotland's roads.

The draft budget (which is subject to parliamentary approval) announced on 17 November an increase in the CCF budget of one million pounds from £9.3 million in 2010/2011 to £10.3 million in 2011/2012.

"Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face as a global community and we all need to play our part in tackling it. CCF has captured the imagination of our communities and I have been continually impressed and encouraged by the innovative ideas put forward. I am proud of the international leadership Scotland is taking in this arena and of the world-class grass-roots action by our communities throughout the country," said Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead.

"The enhanced Climate Change Fund, with an extra one million pounds on offer this year, is a further vote of confidence in the vital role that community action plays in tackling climate change."

Over the three years of the scheme's existence, funding for projects has varied from hundreds of thousands of pounds for Transition Edinburgh University's plan to show the way in carbon reduction across the board, to under ten thousand for Edinburgh advocacy group SPOKES for better storage facilities for bicycles; from £144,060 for the Fife Diet's network of people sourcing food locally to an energy saving re-furbishment of the Lauriston Hall.

Arctic heat

Temperatures in Scotland might be feeling Arctic of late, but the Arctic has been balmy by historic standards this year and last.

“There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the past two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere,” explained environmental columnist George Monbiot in a recent column.

John Mason, who Monbiot cites, notes that temperatures at “Kangerlussuaq, inside the Arctic Circle in western Greenland, the minimum was +9C, an amazing 27C warmer”.

The Climate Challenge Fund is one of the initiatives the Scottish Government has introduced as part of an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% on 1990 levels by 2050.

Community Projects funded by the Climate Challenge Fund

Over 250 communities have received funding from the government climate fund. Here's a round-up of some of the receipients (almost all Edinburgh examples) to give you an idea of the fund's priorities and goals.


  • Craigmillar Community Combined Heat and Power Scheme, Edinburgh - Work Track, to provide more cost-effective energy systems and a community owned Combined Heat and Power (CHP) scheme and a feasibility study on learning, training and employment opportunities in the local community from the CHP scheme - £65,000
  • The Haddington Bridge Centre, East Lothian - Poldrate Mill Complex Renewables Project, a technical feasibility study into the potential to generate power from the Poldrate Mill Water Wheel, and to explore further potential options for the generation of other renewable energy for a complex of community buildings - £5,875
  • Edinburgh Community Backgreens Initiative, Edinburgh Backgreen propose regeneration workshops to connect tenement residents with the natural environment and one another. This will provide a platform for the creation of carbon reduction plans and a carbon weight watchers activity - £73,090
  • Portobello Energy Descent and Land Reform Group, Portobello, Edinburgh - Portobello Transition Town have a broad climate change awareness raising programme including audits of domestic energy, transport and food - £47,760


  • North Edinburgh Trust - Community Climate Change Initiative (3Ci), North Edinburgh, adopting an anti-poverty approach in an area with high levels of deprivation, an initiative to support people to take collective action to reduce carbon footprint, with awareness raising, thematic action groups and a community action plan - £245,104
  • Linlithgow Climate Challenge - Sustainable Solutions for Linlithgow, to secure a full-time project co-ordinator to promote sustainable lifestyles and taking positive ecological action. Seven projects will focus on saving energy, researching options for renewable energy, engaging community and business groups, and developing local food, waste, recycling and transport strategies - £93,845
  • Fife Diet - to build a mass network of people sourcing their food locally, working closely with local farmers, aiming to shorten the supply chain, reduce food miles, innovate around distribution and re-localise production, and exploring sites for collective growing as well as co-operative purchasing on a larger scale - £144,060
  • PIPER, Edinburgh - funding for this environmental group established by Currie Community High School Parent Council for a full-time consultant and office space for two years to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and provide educational resources and practical solutions to cut climate change emissions in schools, homes and the wider communities of Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green, in the catchment area of Currie High School - £98,874
  • Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust, Edinburgh - The Out of the Blue Drill Hall Refurbishment, to transform a building once heated and ventilated with an emphasis on fossil fuels into one which is an inspirational example of environmental sustainability. New spaces will be created for community participation, namely studios, workshop space, growing garden and community café extension. The benefits of the nature of the Drill Hall refurbishment will be promoted through promotional materials and awareness raising sessions. - £90,067
  • Church of the Sacred Heart, Edinburgh - Lauriston Halls Refurbishment: the 100-year-old Lauriston Hall in Edinburgh's West Port is a large city centre community space. Funding to help to introduce natural light and provide insulation to the ceiling, wall and floor, to reduce by up to 80 per cent the carbon emissions of this elegant building. - £136,666
  • Shandon Local Food Group, Edinburgh - Shandon Local Food Initiative, by a newly established community group which is seeking to reduce the carbon impact of the purchase, production and disposal of food in the Shandon area of Edinburgh. Phase one of the project is researching the current carbon footprint of food and developing innovative ways of assessing this alongside building community views of what works best to support local food. - £22,530
  • Pilmeny Development Project / North East Edinburgh Care Action Group, Edinburgh - Community Consultation on the uptake of energy efficiency measures, with older people and carers in North East Edinburgh (primarily Leith and Portobello). This work will aim to raise older people's and carers' knowledge and awareness on how they can reduce their carbon footprint and address their concerns around fuel poverty. - £3,460
  • Transition Edinburgh South, Edinburgh - Switched On to Switching Off in South Edinburgh, two community groups, Transition Edinburgh South and the Edinburgh Southside Energy Efficient Group, aiming to find to best way to transition to lower energy in two tenement streets in South Edinburgh. South Edinburgh householders will share their solutions and plan some more with the two groups. - £7,305
  • Drylaw Neighbourhood Centre, Edinburgh - Drylaw and Telford Community Gardens Project in the north of Edinburgh, to create seven food growing areas to grow fruit and vegetables for local people. As well as growing their own food, local people will benefit from a series of cooking classes and Climate Challenge workshops. - £103,641
  • Care and Repair Edinburgh Ltd - Edinburgh Garden Share Scheme (EGSS), to match garden owners who have land to spare with people who would like to grow fruit and vegetables. The scheme will be run in such a way as to maximise social and environmental benefits throughout the Edinburgh city area. - £92,043
  • The Grange Association, Edinburgh - Grange Energy and Renewables Study Stage 1, the first part of a two-stage project to stimulate continuing area-wide community engagement on energy, carbon and sustainability, and to reduce carbon emissions. In Stage 1, all respondents in a survey of 3,000 households will receive energy efficiency recommendations, technical advice and details of grants for energy improvement measures which lead to measurable carbon emissions reductions. - £10,121
  • Edinburgh University People and Planet Society - Towards a Transition University of Edinburgh, a student and staff led initiative to develop a Carbon Crash programme for their 35,000-strong community. Support for an initial 4-month feasibility project for summer interns to establish a baseline footprint of individuals' actions and to design an innovative programme to complement the low carbon estate projects already under way. - £18,800
  • Edinburgh University People and Planet, Edinburgh - Transition Edinburgh University Phase 2. In leading a community-wide goal of cutting carbon by 10 per cent in 2010, Transition Edinburgh University will cut emissions from students' and staff's homes, travel habits, consumables, and leisure - their "lifestyle" emissions - by 4,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent through collective practical action projects and peer-learning programmes. Their work will be used to inspire other academic communities, with their unique hurdles and advantages, to take up "carbon crash programmes" rooted in their own communities. - £339,209
  • The Bike Station, Edinburgh - 80:40:20 Challenge. The 80:40:20 Challenge will help more than 12,500 staff working for small and medium sized companies in Edinburgh to walk, cycle and use the bus more and drive less. This will save carbon emissions, cut pollution, reduce traffic congestion and boost the health and fitness of participants. - £750,471
  • LifeCare Edinburgh Ltd - Stockbridge House Roof Project. LifeCare has been committed to reducing its carbon footprint for many years and the project at Stockbridge House in Edinburgh will reduce levels of energy consumption further. This will be achieved through insulating a significant part of the roof to a U value of 0.2, which is well over and above current building standards. This will save seven tonnes of CO2 per year. - £49,995
  • Edinburgh World Heritage - Energy Efficiency for Edinburgh World Heritage Site. Edinburgh World Heritage is leading the way towards a carbon-neutral future, with the launch of a new project aimed at tackling energy efficiency in Edinburgh World Heritage Site. A project officer will be employed to lead a series of initiatives from energy saving measures to promote good practice which could lead to savings up to 400 tonnes of CO2 over the 16-month project and continue to generate savings on an ongoing basis. - £39,120
  • Tollcross Energy and Carbon Saving (TECS), Edinburgh - to survey and involve local residents in Tollcross, Edinburgh. TECS will work with residents to identify ways to save energy and reduce carbon in their homes and their activities, potentially resulting in further bids to funders to implement the findings of TECS's Feasibility Study. - £9,500
  • Church of St John Evangelist (St John's), Edinburgh - Earth Be Glad. Earth be Glad is a web tool to enable the whole community of St John's Church, Princes Street, to measure and reduce its carbon emissions collectively, with the help of resources already provided by other organisations. Other faith communities will be able to use the programme to monitor progress towards a target reduction in carbon emissions of 5 per cent per year. - £32,900


  • Bits and Bobs (Intowork) - Unite Skills With People (USP) will involve people in South West Edinburgh aged from 4 to 104 sharing creativity and knowledge as they re-engage with traditional skills, promote wise use of resources and discover cheap and easy ways of saving of energy. USP aims to spread the message that action on carbon reduction can reinvigorate our communities. £66,248
  • Edinburgh Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre - Edinburgh Hindu Community Initiative. The project will educate, encourage and support people to reduce their carbon emissions by making changes in their present lifestyles. The Community will be using a behavioural change approach with a focus on energy consumption, travel and adopting a low carbon lifestyle. £53,324
  • North Edinburgh Trust's NET Your Carbons 2 project will give individuals and communities in North Edinburgh (Muirhouse, Pilton, Granton, Royston Wardieburn and Drylaw) the ability to implement actions to reduce their carbon emissions resulting in increased awareness and knowledge around climate change which will lead to collective practical solutions and new approaches to energy savings. £32,523
  • Transition Edinburgh South - Switching On to Switching Off - Stage 2. This is the second stage of a community-led initiative aimed at finding the best way to lower energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions in two tenement streets in South Edinburgh. Two community groups are working closely with their neighbours to find creative solutions to improve energy efficiency and build the community's resilience to climate change and peak oil. £49,979
  • LifeCare Edinburgh Ltd - Stockbridge House Energy Action and Insulation Project - Stage 2. The group has received funding for stage two of the refurbishment of Stockbridge House, Edinburgh. These elements include double and secondary glazing of windows and front door, alteration to flooring and associated building works, event and associated materials and publicity and professional fees. £94,250
  • Transition Edinburgh South's Drop-in Centre aims to develop a friendly community environment hub based in South Edinburgh. The hub will engage and train local residents in home energy efficiency and renewables, low-carbon food and travel choices, recycling, reducing waste and saving water. £79,417
  • PEDAL - Portobello Transition Town's Carbon Reduction Initiative aims to work with local people in Portobello, Edinburgh, to reduce the community's carbon footprint focusing on food and energy use. Working with other organisations, PEDAL will implement a programme of home insulation, education on wise use of energy, and renewable energy installation, and will encourage the growing of more local organic food through a pilot local organic market, re-skilling courses, a community orchard, a garden sharing scheme, a 'virtual' orchard and a feasibility study into an urban community farm. £172,440
  • Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School Trust Ltd's 'Being the change we want to see' project will develop an action plan to enable the school and families of pupils and staff to reduce their carbon footprint over the next ten years in line with the targets in the Scottish Climate Change Act. In doing this, the school community aims to play its part in the society-wide effort that is needed to ensure that Scotland continues to lead the way in tackling the climate crisis and in finding solutions for a greener future. £22,140
  • Pilmeny Development - H(EAT) Project. A recent community consultation undertaken with older people and their carers in North East Edinburgh identified concerns about their high energy use and lack of awareness of how to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid fuel poverty. The H(EAT) Project, run by Pilmeny Development, will train 10 volunteers to deliver face-to-face advice to help 110 older people in North East Edinburgh to understand and control energy usage in their homes. £16,447
  • SPOKES - the Lothian Cycle Campaign. Tackling inadequate cycle storage for tenements and flats in central Edinburgh would remove a major hurdle to people choosing to cycle on an every-day basis, for work, school, shopping and leisure. SPOKES aims to reduce car dependency and promote more sustainable travel through a research study and provision of practical information to local residents to help to enable residents, local authorities, developers and others to find appropriate bike storage solutions and encourage local action. £8,750