The Council is seeking ideas from anyone interested in allotments and community gardens for:

  • How allotment running costs can be reduced;
  • How income from allotments can be increased; and
  • How this can be done while massively increasing access to allotments for Edinburgh residents.

The Council has a statutory duty to provide allotments. The Scottish Government recently passed the Community Empowerment Act. This new law will extend the Council's duties to ensure that the allotment waiting list number is no greater than 50% of the number of allotment plots provided.

The Council currently provides 1,439 allotments across 32 sites, but has a waiting list of around 2,800. At present levels of demand, the Community Empowerment Act requires the Council to provide another 1,400 allotments – doubling its current level of provision.

The Council is drafting a new allotment strategy that seeks to provide the additional allotments that are needed, however, there will be a cost associated with both building and maintaining these new sites. Allotments currently cost the Council money to run and rental charges are not high enough to fully cover these costs.

The total annual cost to Parks and Green Space is £101,000 per year which covers things like providing water to sites, waste collection and pest control.

The charge for a full-size allotment plot is £100 per year, but many allotment holders receive a 50% concession. This means that the total income raised through allotment plot rent charges is around £80,000 per year.

We have carried out a survey directly with current allotment holders and those on the waiting list to get their ideas.

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