People and Place

Empowerment is about communities doing things for themselves, making their voices heard and influencing the planning and delivery of places and services. 

There are a wide range of actions and initiatives to support and promote community empowerment in Scotland.  

These include legislation and government policies, through to funding for local projects, community-based support organisations and programmes, local planning and engagement as well as support for communities to purchase assets and provide services.  

Find out more below about some of the key current activity supporting empowerment in Scotland.

First life, then spaces, then buildings: the other way around never works.

Jan Gehl

Legislation and Governance

Couple looking at map in street scene with children playing in the background

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act gives community bodies rights and public sector authorities new duties to support communities take action and to make their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services.

Find out more about the Community Empowerment Act

Local Governance Review

How local governance operates in Scotland is changing. Find out more about the Local Governance Review and Scotland's Democracy Matters conversations.

Find out more about the Local Governance Review

Community Councils

Roughly 1200 community councils operate around Scotland, helping to make public bodies aware of the opinions and needs of the communities they represent.

Get more info on Community Councils

Collaboration and Participation

Community Planning

Community planning is about how public bodies work together, and with local communities, to design and deliver better services that make a real difference to people's lives.

Find out more about Community Planning

Local Place Plans

Scotland is developing a new approach to local planning, with opportunities for communities to develop their own Local Place Plans.

Find out more about Local Place Plans

Communities Taking Action

Group of people in discussion

Community Ownership

Communities in Scotland are supported to purchase and operate buildings and facilities in their local areas. Communities are best placed to know the opportunities and challenges in their own are and supporting community-run and owned services and facilities has multiple advantages.

Get more info on Community Ownership

Participatory Budgeting

Participatory budgeting (PB) is a way for people to have a direct say in how local money is spent.

PB can take many forms but typically it will involve ideas being generated about how money can be spent in a local area; people the voting on the ideas and; the ideas with the most votes being funded.

PB is an expanding area across Scotland and the PB Scotland site contains a wealth of information on Participatory Budgeting and ways to get involved.

Access the PB Scotland site here

Third Sector Organisations

Scotland has a large, active and dynamic Third Sector. The Third Sector includes charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, involved in the delivery of services, helping to improve people's wellbeing and contributing to local prosperity.

Get more info on the role of the Third Sector and place