SUGaR (Seedhill Urban Growing and Regeneration)

Arts | Community Cohesion | Environmental Sustainability | Health and Wellbeing | Physical Environment | Place-based Approaches
Williamsburgh Housing AssociationScotland
What is the project?

This project had five main aims:

Food growing - Reduce the CO2e within the project community by 0.068 T CO2e , through: establishing four community growing sites (equating to a total of 63 sqm) which will produce 2kg of food per square meter during the first year of the project resulting in a lifetime saving of 0.6804 Tonnes CO2e over 10 years.

Food waste & food miles - Reduce the CO2e produced within the project community from food waste by 20%

Waste (repair/reuse) - Save 1.0749 T CO2e within the project community as the result of the delivery of workshops and taster sessions in the project community to reuse or repair clothing and household furniture, “swap meets’ in the community will target books and toys

Waste (recycling) - Increase the community’s waste recycling by a minimum of 72.0005kg CO2e as the result of delivering eight community litter picks which will recycle:
Aluminium drink cans (Metal/Non Ferrous); Plastic bottles (Plastic Waste); Coloured glass

Carbon literacy and understanding of climate change - Increase the project community’s carbon literacy and awareness of climate change as a result of engaging and participating in this project.

Many SUGaR activities were delivered as part of community event days, with various workshops, demonstrations and discussions running over the course of the day. Working in this way allowed us to engage many community members on a range of project elements at once. Delivering stand– alone events throughout the project helped to create a SUGaR– buzz, and build interest across all elements of the project, some of which people may not have otherwise become involved with.

Activities carried out included: Site walkabouts; Building planters; Field trips; Gala day; Eco day; Be friendly tea party; Bonfire night; Swap shop; Eco Christmas extravaganza; SUGar spring fling; Design project day; Litter picks; Food waste workshops; Food growing and composting.

Who is the project targeted at?

Local residents

Why did the project come about?

The idea for SUGaR came from local community members who wanted to create a local movement in Seedhill which centred on bringing neglected spaces in the area back to life through a variety of growing, recreational, and community activities. Funding from Climate Challenge Fund (CCF) was seen as an excellent opportunity to be able to deliver on this vision. The community envision this project as part of a longer– term regeneration of the area which will increase local pride and community spirit, leading to an improvement in the quality of life of Seedhill residents.

WHA’s three-yearly tenant satisfaction survey in July / August 2016 highlighted tenant dissatisfaction with the ‘neighbourhood environment’ at 54%, with littering citing as a significant problem. The survey showed that tenants wanted to improve the local environment, and demonstrated a need for projects and activities which inform, educate and engage tenants and residents about the importance of the environment.

How was this project implemented?


RIG Arts are a socially engaged arts charity that brings professional artists and the community together in a collaborative and creative way using art, film, media, and animation. Their role in SUGaR was to deliver workshops and taster sessions focused on reuse and repair, and to promote wider reuse of items across Seedhill through swap– shops.

Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) offer enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes and development opportunities for young people across all of Scotland. Their role in SUGaR was to deliver community growing activities, and workshops and learning opportunities focused on positively addressing excessive food waste and food miles.


We set up the steering group early on in the project; initially comprising WHA staff and local residents the group was heavily involved in the appointment of project contractors. Once YES and RIG Arts were in post, representatives from each joined the steering group, ensuring these was input from all stakeholders and range of skills and knowledge in place. This approach helped to make the project a success as we were able to communicate between all involved partners from an early stage.

How was this project funded?

The Climate Challenge Fund

Outcomes so far

Over the course of the SUGaR project we were able to achieve the following:

• Had nine Steering Group Meetings
• Held three external training sessions for community members - (One visit to YES site in Rouken Glen; One Zero Waste Scotland; One visit with Revolve)
• Attended one external training session – Stalled Spaces Toolkit
• Held 25 events within the Seedhill Community
• Produced 14 community leaflets
• Produced two community articles within WHA’s newsletter
• Created a Facebook page and twitter page for the SUGaR project
• Engaged with over 150 members of the local community, including school children
• Engaged with one school – Paisley Grammar School
• Delivered 25 Food Waste training sessions engaging with 200 S1, S2 & S3 pupils
• 167.95 kgs of food has been grown during the project
• 56 m2 of community growing space has been brought into use
• 86 volunteer hours have been recorded to support the project
• Five people volunteered their time and energy to keeping the project going

One of the major success stories of SUGaR has been our work with Paisley Grammar School, which also happens to be our main unexpected outcome as well. As the project evolved it became more obvious that as a major part of the Seedhill community, the school should be involved. Pupils were very receptive to the project, especially the litter picks. We’ve helped shape young people’s behaviour in a positive way, making them more aware of their impact on the environment as well as to see local residents in Seedhill engaging with the pupils.

We got local people involved in new activities which they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do or experience, giving them renewed confidence. For example, older residents in Glentaner Court have been involved in arts-based workshops, local residents are championing composting, young people are recognising and reducing their littering, and men are showing more interest in community activities. Everyone involved is learning something new.

Partnership working RIG Arts and YES has been a key element in the success of the project as it allowed for a sharing of responsibility and resources.

Future plans

Williamsburgh Housing Association have recently been successful in securing two years of additional funding for the SUGaR project which will allow us to continue delivering valuable carbon emission reduction and community– based activities in Seedhill.

The strong partnership relationships which have developed over the course of the project will help to create a lasting legacy for the project. We have been able to share knowledge and skills throughout the project which each partner can now take away and apply to their own work, enhancing the delivery of other projects in future.

Going forward, we feel that access to the community flat will be key to the lasting legacy and future of SUGaR. We are confident that the flat will soon be up and running and able to accommodate community activities and events over the coming two years of CCF funding; this will allow us to be properly in the community and ensure people know where we are and what we’re doing.

Contact Details

Bryan Dando