Category Archives: Local Economy

Portobello Market, Saturday 2nd December

Have you writ­ten to Santa yet? There’s still time, and you can always add to your gifts and good­ies by com­ing along to the Portobello Market on Saturday, 2nd December, in Brighton Park, 9:30am to 1:30pm.

Check out the web­site for a full list of the 34 stall­hold­ers able to attend

Portobello Apple Juice will be avail­able at the PEDAL table at the main gate.
All pro­ceeds will be donated to the Thistle Foundation.
If you have empty Portobello Apple Juice bottles, please return at the market.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
From all at Portobello Market.

We take a wee break after this, and the next mar­ket will be on Saturday 3rd February 2024.

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 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.

Bill McKibben is talking on Fossil Fuel Divestment in Edinburgh, 30th October

 If it’s wrong to wreck the cli­mate, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.

We’re all con­nec­ted to insti­tu­tions that claim to be look­ing out for the pub­lic good, from loc­al coun­cils and gov­ern­ments, to uni­ver­sit­ies, pub­lic banks and reli­gious insti­tu­tions. Many of these insti­tu­tions, how­ever, con­tin­ue to sup­port the fossil fuel industry wheth­er we know it or not. Given that we have to leave 80% of the proven reserves of coal, oil and gas in the ground in order to avoid cata­stroph­ic changes to our cli­mate, these insti­tu­tions have a respons­ib­il­ity to stop sup­port­ing an industry whose busi­ness mod­el is based on wreck­ing our future.

This autumn Bill McKibben, the crew, and a wide range of cli­mate lead­ers will hit the road to help build a move­ment strong enough to change the ter­ri­fy­ing maths of the cli­mate crisis. The Fossil Free Europe Tour isn’t your typ­ic­al lec­ture – it will include speak­ers from across social move­ments, power­ful videos, and music from the ground-break­ing artist Filastine. Grab a tick­et and be part of a unique and com­plete exper­i­ence, unlike any talk you’ve been to before.

7 – 10pm, 30th October, 

Asembly Hall on the Mound
Mound Pl 

Here’s the link to book a tick­et:

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…

Pedal powered cinema at Occupy & Transition films, 5th and 12th December

Two films over two weeks re-launch­ing the Transition film even­ings (note dif­fer­ent times and venues);
*Please keep an eye out for this monthly reg­u­lar event start­ing Jan 2012*

Mon 5th Dec. 6pm : Pedal-powered cinema!! with Occupy Edinburgh and Powerpod
Venue : Occupy, St Andrew Square
Screening : Money As Debt

Please come ready to cycle power the film keep­ing you warm at the same time!!

Money as Debt is a short anim­ated doc­u­ment­ary by Paul Grignon about the mon­et­ary sys­tems prac­tised through mod­ern bank­ing. The film presents the pro­cess of money cre­ation by banks and warns of the eco­nom­ic sys­tem itself being the root causes of mon­et­ary instability.

* If any­one can bring their bike along to help power the film, we’d appre­ci­ate more bikes (with flat sur­faced tires)!! Please let Roland know on ;

Mon 12th Dec. 7.30pm
Venue : Brass Monkey pub, 14 Drummond St.
Screening : Age of Stupid

Age of Stupid – film/documentary nar­rated by an arch­iv­ist in 2050, look­ing back and ask­ing ‘Why did­n’t we save ourselves when we had the chance? Director Franny Armstrong (McLibel) used the “crowd-fund­ing” mod­el to fin­ance the film, and then spent four years fol­low­ing sev­en real people’s stor­ies from around the world to be inter­weaved: an Indian entre­pren­eur strug­gling to start a new low-cost air­line, a Shell employ­ee in New Orleans who res­cued more than 100 people dur­ing Hurricane Katrina, an 82-year-old French moun­tain guide watch­ing his beloved gla­ciers melt, two Iraqi refugee chil­dren search­ing for their eld­er broth­er, a young woman liv­ing in des­per­ate poverty in Nigeria’s richest oil area and a wind­farm developer in Britain bat­tling those who don’t want his tur­bines to spoil their view.

! Help needed !
We need some help pro­mot­ing and fly­er­ing this event which will be a reg­u­lar monthly gath­er­ing from Jan 2012. If you can take some fly­ers / posters away to put in pub­lic places, we’d be grate­ful for any sup­port. Likewise any­one who can spend an hour or two tak­ing a stroll around your loc­al shops, cafes and lib­rar­ies to put up posters, will be much loved by many !

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!

The end of economic growth?

In this straight­for­ward 5 minute film - ‘Who killed eco­nom­ic growth?’ - Heingerg argues that the end of growth star­ted in 2008 and that the so called “recov­ery” is only a sleight of hand to mask, for a while, the unavoid­able decline.

Even more reas­on to focus on reju­ven­at­ing our loc­al eco­nomy in a way that can help us to meet our real needs for food, energy, warm homes, and a thriv­ing community.

As this (com­pleted unre­lated!) ‘dreaded stairs’ 2 minute video demon­strates, the best way to encour­age people to make pos­it­ive changes is to make them fun!

The Organic Market is a great place for kids to play, and adults to talk — and there were some really use­ful dis­cus­sions of the fin­an­cial melt­down, which led to my post­ing this video. It also led to an even­ing of dis­cus­sion organ­ised by the Dalriada Conversations group — with two superb present­a­tions by Peter McColl and Donald Bloxham, fol­lowed by an excel­lent and spir­ited dis­cus­sion. We hope to hold more open dis­cus­sions of related cru­cial issues. When we do, we’ll let you know. (Justin)

Help develop a local currency for Edinburgh!

Calling com­munity coun­cils, loc­al action groups, Transition groups, Development Trusts, ten­ants and res­id­ents asso­ci­ations, loc­al traders asso­ci­ations, vol­un­tary organ­isa­tions, hous­ing associations… 

Come and help intro­duce a loc­al cur­rency in Edinburgh!
Saturday 27th August 2.30 – 4.30pm
[NOT 22nd August, 7 – 9pm as stated earlier!]

Portobello Old Parish Church, Bellfield Street, Portobello EH15 2BP

After a suc­cess­ful pub­lic engage­ment event we are now ready to work in sev­er­al loc­al areas to lay the ground for the intro­duc­tion of thecur­rency. The coun­cil have agreed to devel­op a strategy to sup­port com­munity groups in their efforts to estab­lish an Edinburgh pound. We want to stress that the coun­cil are not provid­ing any fund­ing to this ini­ti­at­ive of Transition Edinburgh, PEDAL Portobello, Transition Edinburgh South, SEED, Greener Leith and Bridgend.

The pro­pos­al is for a ‘Euro style’ cur­rency which would have stand­ard ‘Edinburgh Pound’ fea­tures on one side, and a loc­al vari­ant on the oth­er e.g. A Portobello pound, or a Morningside pound…  Local pounds from dif­fer­ent areas will be useable in any par­ti­cip­at­ing shops around the city, but would also retain a sense of loc­al distinctiveness.

Next steps:
1. Work with loc­al action groups and organ­isa­tions who would like to take part in the scheme to set a strategy for enga­ging our loc­al shop­keep­ers, trades­people, key organ­isa­tions and the wider pub­lic.  


2. Research how best to imple­ment the scheme by con­tact­ing and learn­ing from oth­er loc­al cur­ren­cies. Including ask­ing them:
(i) Whether traders offered a 5% dis­count to users of the loc­al cur­rency and what impact that had?
(ii) How much leak­age there was (i.e. how many pounds were taken as souven­irs, effect­ively put­ting ‘free’ money into the system)?
(iii) How they man­aged to pro­tect their cur­rency from being copied?
(iv) Whether and how they involved their loc­al author­ity or oth­er large loc­al play­ers? (e.g. Bristol is aim­ing to enable Traders to be able to pay their Business rates with the Bristol Pound)
If you are will­ing to con­tact oth­er loc­al cur­ren­cies and research some of these ques­tions before the August meet­ing, let us know!

3. Explore the pos­sib­il­ity of intro­du­cing a par­al­lel elec­tron­ic cur­rencyfor easy pay­ments (Bristol are plan­ning on a sim based mobile phonecur­rency).

4. Examine wheth­er there are loc­al issues which could be used to help a loc­al cur­rency to take off in par­tic­u­lar parts of Edinburgh.
For example, in Morningside shop­pers and traders are very con­cerned about the pos­sib­il­ity of a new Sainsbury’s and so using a loc­al cur­rency could be a way of help­ing build sup­port for the loc­al eco­nomy. Meanwhile in Portobello, the fact that the Local ‘Porty Shopper’ bags — ‘Think Global, Shop Local’ — were snapped up so fast demon­strates that people are clearly want­ing to identi­fy with and sup­port loc­al traders.

Hope to see you there!

Cheers! Eva and Justin (for the Edinburgh Pound project)


Further resources:
Edinburgh Pound —
Brixton Pound —
Bristol Pound —
Time Article — ‘Tough times lead to loc­al cur­ren­cies’ —,9171,1908421,00.html
Worgl exper­i­ence in Austria in the 1930s —
BerkShares in Massachusetts since 2006 —
Local Money — How to make it hap­pen —


Blow me! An urban wind farm

Great piece on the STV news about our pro­posed tur­bine. Also the Evening News has a story on the wind tur­bine plans. (Thanks to all who’ve registered their sup­port on the Energyshare site — we cur­rently have 227 sup­port­ers, and have moved up to 1st place, but we need to stay there, and that aint going to be easy! If you haven’t signed up yet, get on over to The Evening News edit­or­i­al (bot­tom of this page, under the ‘Sick Kids’ lead­er) is also help­fully supportive.

There’s also a fas­cin­at­ing art­icle on loc­al cur­ren­cies by Steve Burgess (with help from Justin and Eva).


Edinburgh Local Economy Day — listen to Jonathan Dawson’s talk

On Saturday 9th April, a city-wide group­ing of com­munity organ­iz­a­tions, includ­ing Transition EdinburghPEDALSEED (Sustainable Economics), Bridgend Inspiring Growth, Greener Leith and oth­ers hos­ted a day focus­sing on ways to strengthen Edinburgh’s loc­al eco­nomy. Greener Leith’s blog fea­tures the whole talk from Jonathon Dawson, inter­na­tion­al expert on altern­at­ive exchange mech­an­isms, as a 50 minute audio clip. So make your­self a nice cup of tea and have a listen. You can hear the clip at