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Strengthening communities and enabling more sustainable living

The challenge

South Seeds is an environmental charity, established in 2012 and covering the South Side of Glasgow, whose mission is to “enable Southsiders to lead more sustainable lives”.

Sustainability is particularly challenging in the local area which is characterised by high levels of deprivation, population density and limited land availability and natural resources. Enabling urban communities to live more sustainability is critical to the transition to net-zero targets and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Since its founding, South Seeds has played an important role in the local community, but it was heavily reliant on public funding to support its activities. This raised several challenges and led to a desire to diversify its income sources.

The Strathclyde contribution

Strathclyde Business School academics secured funding for and led a project to explore ways in which the charity could shift away from becoming so heavily reliant on public grant funding.

The research highlighted a number of new opportunities and these were then incorporated into a new business plan for South Seeds which was developed by the research team. This included ambitious plans to secure a lease and funding to develop the Old Changing Rooms at Queen’s Park Recreation Ground into a net-zero community hub, strengthening community involvement and engagement.

The impact

These activities enabled South Seeds to diversify its activities and its revenue streams, providing a platform to push on with a series of ambitious plans to further support the local community to live more sustainable lives.

This includes the provision of energy payment support, with South Seed’s energy officers helping local households to access over £200k of energy payments.

Through the Tool library, South Seeds has provided over 4,000 loans, and this number continues to grow. In 2022 alone it issued 1,750 loans – an increase of 46% on the previous year.

To support its growing range of activities and scale, South Seeds has been able to leverage its new business model to secure a 25-year lease on a property which will become a new community eco-hub, and a new home for the Tool Library, as well as securing £450,000 in funding to turn this space into a quality multifunctional space for the community.

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Further information

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Contact details

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University of Strathclyde
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