Five Edinburgh projects backed by climate challenge fund

The Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Government are today announcing £2.2m of funding (1) to projects across Scotland through the Climate Challenge Fund. (2)£260,000 will go to five community projects in Edinburgh (3), all of which are designed to reduce local communities’ carbon footprint in imaginative ways, and to inspire others to take up their ideas.

Green MSP Robin Harper said:

“I’m extremely pleased to see the Climate Challenge Fund supporting some of Edinburgh’s most imaginative community groups. We’re in a very tough economic and environmental situation at the moment, but it’s initiatives like these that bring people together to find local city-based solutions to reducing carbon emissions, growing food and rethinking our use of energy. Across Scotland, community champions are leading the way and I’m proud that this Fund is fuelling their enthusiasm.

“In both Leith and West Port, we’re going to see real change to Lauriston Hall and to the Out of the Blue Drill Hall. These existing community buildings will be transformed into green hubs where groups will gather to learn and take action on a whole range of environmental issues. In the Southside area, the Transition Towns group is going to be engaging tenement residents on energy use and giving them opportunities to slash their bills.

“In Shandon, the Local Food Initiative will focus on local food and look at ways to reduce the environmental impact of our dinner plate. Finally, the Pilmeny Development Project and the North East Edinburgh Care Action Group are coming together to work with older people and carers to tackle fuel poverty and emissions at the same time.

“These are brilliant initiatives that tackle some of the core challenges we face, and they have my wholehearted support. Plenty of other community groups across Edinburgh have good ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions, and I would urge them to come forward with applications to the Fund.”

Gavin Corbett of the Shandon Local Food group said:

“The appeal of local food has struck a real chord here in Shandon, with well over one hundred families signed up. The support of the Climate Challenge Fund will help us show that global challenges like climate change and supporting local communities and shops can go hand in hand.”

Michèle Hipwell of the Transition Towns Edinburgh South group said:

‘We’re really please to have this funding from the Climate Challenge Fund. Hopefully this is going to enable the tenements we work with in Newington and Morningside to make a real dent in their emissions and help start Edinburgh’s transition to a low-carbon city.”

Rob Hoon, Coordinator of the Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust, said:

“The Out of the Blue Drill Hall refurbishment will transform a building once heated and ventilated with an emphasis on fossil fuels, into one which is an inspirational example of environmental sustainability. We are creating new spaces; namely studios, workshop space, growing garden and community café extension.

“Secondly, we are promoting the benefits of the nature of the Drill Hall refurbishment through promotional materials and awareness raising sessions for local people in the OOTB Drill Hall, and throughout Scotland.

“We intend to make this a permanent and integral element of OOTB building management and education work. As awareness of Climate Change and action that can be taken individually and collectively grows locally, nationally and internationally, OOTB will be a partner in this movement, using our own resources to continue to promote measures that we have taken, and initiate activity to promote individual and collective change.

“We are delighted with the support from the Climate Challenge Fund.”


1. The fund is a joint project between the Greens and Scottish Ministers, and will distribute £27.4m in funding up to 2011. The fund was established through the 2008 budget, and is designed to support innovative and locally-led projects to cut carbon emissions and build sustainable communities. For more information, see

2. For a map of all Climate Challenge Fund projects funded so far, and details of their funding and project plans, please see:

3. The Edinburgh groups funded are:Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust (£90,067)

Shandon Local Food Group (£22,530)

Transition Towns – Edinburgh South (£7,305)

Pilmeny Development Project & North East Edinburgh Care Action Group (£3,460)

Church of the Sacred Heart, Lauriston Hall (£136,666)