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July 14, 2020

GoBeyond communities

As communities begin to plan for the next stage of dealing with the multiple impacts of Covid (some argue that to call it recovery is misleading) there has been talk of how to encourage better collaboration at a grassroots level between those organisations that have been at the frontline of the emergency response. Effective collaboration involves much more than the occasional conflab but there is surprisingly little advice available about how to do it. A good starting point might be to seek out examples of where it is already happening. Interesting development in the south west of Edinburgh.


In SW Edinburgh, the GoBeyond network enablers, Space & Broomhouse Hub, Big Hearts

Community Trust and Whale Arts, would like to start a conversation with the people who live and

work here, about the area adopting a people led strategy to create a ‘Community Wealth Building

Locality’, based on Wellbeing Economics and a greener recovery.

This will be supported in particular by community anchor organisations, above, as well as embedded

into the distributive and creative network that GoBeyond can facilitate, to involve many local and

smaller community groups and initiatives, and led by people in local communities.

We would like to also to be outward looking and to start a conversation with City of Edinburgh

Community Planning Partners, Business and Scottish Government, about what this might mean for

their understanding of the locality and the opportunities here to ‘build back better’ and to be part of

the growing community wealth and wellbeing economy approach locally and internationally.

Principles of a Community Wealth Building Locality

First small steps:

  • Using a distributive network between organisations and small community groups to increase

collaboration and mutual support, underpinned by community spirit and kindness

  • Local grants programmes to help innovation, decided upon either participatory budgeting,

or when events are not possible, anchor organisation staff with community representatives

  • Attract investment in key local anchors to be part of the post Covid Recovery

Medium to long term steps in SW Edinburgh Locality:

  • Attract progressive procurement of goods and services in SW Edinburgh by major partners
  • Attract investment that creates jobs in the social enterprises locally and reskills for

environmentally friendly and wellbeing focused sectors

  • Attract new green infrastructure investment, for ideas such as environmentally sustainable

food production (growing to catering), transforming urban space, active travel and green

forms of transport, and increased low carbon affordable housing, informed by the Edinburgh

Climate Commission findings and recommendations

  • Develop projects that encourage socially productive use of land and property

Long term for SW Edinburgh:

  • Making communities and financial power work together for local places and people,

informed by the Edinburgh Poverty Commission findings and recommendations

  • Align ourselves with the Community Wealth and Wellbeing Economy approaches in Scotland

and internationally to guide us

This Community Wealth Building approach will take courage to build, where we go beyond the

historic sole economic value, and the intrinsic value of people and assets underpin an holistic

approach to development in the next 10 years in SW Edinburgh.