The Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee has undertaken an inquiry into the Community Empowerment Act [the Act], examining whether it has improved the availability of allotments and reduced the barriers to accessing them.

The report recognises that there have been many positive developments made since the Act came into force, but seven years on there is a significant demand for allotments and growing spaces which is not being met, and access to land remains a challenge.

Increased leadership and oversight by the Scottish Government of the implementation of the Act could help drive improvement and consistency, and increase access to allotments and growing spaces. This should include the collection of data from across local authorities to improve transparency and enable benchmarking.

The Committee recommends the creation of a national partnership forum which could foster cross-sectoral collaboration, mutual support, and enable local authorities to share expertise and good practice, supporting the growth of allotment provision. The Report states that clarity is needed from the Scottish Government about how the requirement for local authorities to publish Food Growing Strategies intersects with the new requirement to produce Good Food Nation strategies.

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More and more people in Scotland want to grow their own fruit and vegetables but land availability is a big challenge. greenspace scotland champions the development of the Our Growing Community model to support communities in urban scotland to take a more holistic and strategic approach to community food growing.

greenspaces and food growing