Category Archives: Community

Portobello Market, Saturday 6th May

A chilly start to spring but there’s always a warm welcome at the Portobello Market. The next one is on Saturday 6th May. Gates open at 9.30am and the market runs until 1.30pm in Brighton Park, Brighton Place, Portobello.

Pop over to the market page to see the full list of 25 traders attending.

Please Like & Share our Facebook page, PortyMarket.

Next market is on Saturday 3rd June.

POD need help for the Village fair 2015 to happen!

The Village Show in early September has become a very popular event in the Portobello Calendar. POD have recognised that they don’t have the capacity to organise the event this year, unless they find new people to help. If you are interested then please get in touch with POD by mailing info [at] the-pod [dot] org


Please take a look at this short film.

Electric Bungalow Community Garden


Members of the Electric Bungalow Community Garden would like to thank the wider community in Portobello for all their support and encouragement after the garden on Bath Street was bulldozed last Thursday.

bath st memorial

Please feel free to drop by and add something (perhaps draw a flower on the pavement, weave cloth or wool into the fence) to add to our memorial just outside.

The group is considering our next steps and will post plans on the facebook group and the PEDAL website in due course.

PEDAL ‘Street Level’ – make it happen on your street!


Would you love to have a street party on your street — but never got round to mak­ing it hap­pen? Or do you think car-sharing with a few people who live close by would make sense, but you’re not sure how to go about it? Maybe you think it’s crazy that 10 people in your street have a lawn mower, when you could all just use the same one?

If so, Street Level may be for you.

It’s not complicated – just the chance to bring together a bunch of people who’d like to start something good on their street – so they can share a bit of moral and prac­tical sup­port. Let’s get together, share ideas and resources and sup­port one another to make good things hap­pen on our streets.

The kinds of things we might do are:

Organise street parties

Join Streetbank

Get on-street bike storage

Start community gardens

Build on-street planters/trees

Make or commission public art

Share chickens

Start food/solar/insulation co-ops…

… stuff like that.

If you’re interested, email info [at] pedalporty [dot] org or call Eva

Join PEDAL’s (FREE!) Trip to West Kilbride – 30th May


We’ll be leaving at 9.30am and returning by 5.30pm. Places must be booked – there are ten left: first come, first served, so hurry, hurry.  Email info [at] pedal-porty [dot] co [dot] uk to book your place. Hope you can join us!

We’re hiring a minibus to go and visit one of Scotland’s real success stories! A small community which has turned its fortunes around and re-vitalised its High Street, buying up empty shops and establishing itself as Scotland’s Craft Town.

We want to hear first hand how they did it.

Our High Street is a very important part of our community and we want to see what kind of things we could do to make it more resilient and responsive to local needs, including buying properties and starting social enterprises. West Kilbride Development Trust has a lot to teach us about all this.

See more of their story below.


West Kilbride was once a thriving coastal town, with a boast that the needs of residents could be catered for from the cradle to the grave.  A popular holiday destination for Glaswegians holidaying ‘doon the water’, at its peak local bus companies had to lay on additional buses during the Glasgow Fair.

By the mid 1990’s the town’s fortunes had taken a serious dip, with 21 out of 40 retail businesses having ceased trading.  A local tragedy galvanised West Kilbride residents  and politicians alike, a public meeting was organised  in 1996 by the area’s MP, local independent Councillor  and other local activists.  The area’s assets were explored and, as tourism was a key industry in the area, it was agreed that the town would add to this by developing a specialised theme to help revitalise itself.  Since the idea was first developed and WKCIL was formed in 1998, the creation of Scotland’s only designated Craft and Design town has underpinned a remarkable renaissance in the retail and community hub of West Kilbride.

Despite limited resources and against a national tide of town centre decline, the retail heart of the town has been preserved.  To date, this has been achieved at a relatively low cost to the public purse and a significant amount of community fundraising.  Recognised nationally as an exemplar of enterprise, the pivotal role of the craft and design studios as West Kilbride’s “unique selling point” has been the driver of the town’s economic regeneration.

This innovative community led project is an inspiration to North Ayrshire and its people because the creation of Craft Town Scotland has managed to turn local economic problems into positive enterprising action. It may not be a huge commercial project, but the Craft Town has added real artistic and cultural value to the area, bringing long-term and deeply felt changes to the local economy.  Jobs have been created and secured, and the quality of life for the people of West Kilbride is better.

Next Steps to New Site for Community Wind Energy Project

Long standing supporters of PEDAL will remember that we won a UK-wide funding competition, in partnership with Greener Leith, to help us build a community owned wind turbine at Seafield.

visualisation of how the turbines will look from a local access route.

Visualisation of how the turbines will look from a local access route.

P&L Turbine hub-heightAlthough Scottish Water subsequently pulled out of the deal, preventing us from building a turbine at Seafield, we did not give up, and are now pleased to be able to confirm that we’ve secured a new site for the community turbine project – four kilometres south west of Inverness.

The agreement follows a year of complex negotiations. The land deal gives us exclusive rights to conduct studies at the site and build two wind turbines of up to 800KWp capacity each.

P&L Turbine tomfat-mapTo take the project forwards we have established a joint venture company which is majority owned by PEDAL and Greener Leith. Consultants to the project, SCENE, own a minority (five percent) stake.

In addition, planning permission has recently been granted to install a met mast on the site to measure the wind resource, which will happen in the next month or so.

The next step is to meet with the communities near to the site.  We hope local non-profit groups will become partners in the project too, and are offering them the chance to invest in, and become part owners of it. We want this to be a project that brings real environmental and financial benefits, not just to our own communities, but to those where the turbines will be located.

We’ve already begun this process and will be presenting on the project at Strathnairn Community Council’s meeting on 26th May.

The aim is to submit a full planning application to Highland Council sometime in August. If it gets planning permission, the project could generate an estimated £7m surplus over the twenty year lifespan of the project, to be distributed between the community groups who invest in the project – including PEDAL  and Greener Leith.

A spokesperson for the project said:

“Signing a land deal is a huge milestone for this project. PEDAL and Greener Leith volunteers have worked for years on this project and both organisations remain firmly committed to community-owned renewable energy. Our attention is now focussed on identifying potential non-profit community partners local to the site who we can work with to help us take the project forwards and share in the subsequent benefits.

“Although a lot still needs to happen before we can be certain the project will go ahead, we hope to put in a full planning application later in the year, with a view to starting construction on site in 2015. We’d like to thank all the people who have got behind the project, especially our key funders, for their ongoing support.”

You can find out more about the project at the specially set-up website at

Apple Festival, 12-4pm, 6th October at the Botanics

Apple Festival

From 12.00 noon — 4.00 pm at the John Hope Gateway

An annual celebration of apples. The Saturday will feature apple advice and identification from 10am whilst the Sunday will include apple juice tasting. See and taste a wide selection of apple varieties from 12pm both days, and find out how to grow them yourself.

This event is also running from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 5 October.

With the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Portobello Market, Saturday 3rd August

Will the heat wave come to the market!? Who knows, but it doesn’t matter either way because there’s always a warm atmosphere and lots of fun to be had at the market.

There’ll be live music and face painting of course.

It’s been a great year so far for Portobello Market, and August looks like a bumper crop of traders, the most so far this year. We’ll even have a real espresso coffee van on site! Woohoo! 

Our loyal regulars are there with their organic meats, breads, fruit & veg, oils, cheeses, candles, soaps and garden furniture, together with crafts, outdoor garden furniture, plants, natural remedies & therapies. The list goes on. Amazing variety!

Check out the PEDAL website for more details and for a full list of stallholders.

So come along between 9.30 and 1.30 at Brighton Park on Brighton Place, Portobello, and join in the fun.

Get your Porty branded T-shirts!

A must-have for Porty fans near and far!

Home sweet home t-shirtPrice £12.50 for adults, £9 for kids.

We have 2 styles both made from Fairtrade cotton, I Love Porty and our popular Home Sweet Home design complete with grid co-ordinates for Porty Prom.

All sizes available in festive red or white — S–XL standard fit and 10–16 lady fit plus 4 children’s sizes to suit age 5–13. We also have some in Porty pink, royal blue or grey for the ladies.

Get your orders in quickly in time to catch the Xmas post! Call 0131 669 1124 — we can deliver locally…

Exciting dates for your diary!

Saturday Aug 27th 2-30-4.30 – Local Currency Event

Join us at Old Parish Church Hall, Belfield Street, to discuss how to get an Edinburgh-wide local currency in place by this time next year (for more information, scroll down to the earlier post on the subject).

Saturday Sept 3rd – Next Organic Market in Brighton Park

This will be the 1st anniversary of the market and – as well as the wonderful stalls – will include:

– a series of brief inspiring films from 10.30 and an organic picnic (bring your own food or buy at the market) from 12.30 as PEDAL becomes one of 12 communities across Scotland hosting a ‘Blasta’ event celebrating Local Food. (Blasta is Gaelic for ‘tasty’).

– a Big Things On The Beach public art event from 10 called TOXME which you are invited to participate in, an event which highlights the toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our daily foods and lives.

Sunday Sept 4th – POD’s Portobello Village Fair (2-5)

As well as contributing to the light-hearted home grown vegetables competition, PEDAL will have  two stalls: one for the Orchard and bee keeping group, and one to enable people to ask questions about our proposed community-owned Turbine.

Saturday Sept 24th – Car Free Day (set off at 2)

– Meet at 2pm at the Cake Stand at the bottom of Marlborough Street to cycle along the Prom to the beach below the proposed Turbine site at Seafield, or join  us at the orchard anytime after 10 for the monthly work day and Equinox celebrations and then cycle down to join everyone for the 2pm start.

– This year kids are going to need to persuade their parents to help them dress up their bike beforehand, and we will be encouraging rowers, canoests and sailors to join us in demonstrating fossil fuel free travel! We may even stretch to a time trial: seeing how well a car, a bike, a skateboard, a skiff do racing against each other if none of them are fossil fueled!