Seeding Success: how communities transform town centres

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From a story telling project to a plan for a community centre, communities across Scotland have been rolling up their sleeves, getting together to tackle empty and neglected parts of their town centres and breathe new life into them.

Delegates at a one-day event in Paisley on 10 May 2017 heard how 50 projects across the country have used vacant and derelict spaces to bring life back into town centres, under the Stalled Spaces Scotland programme.

Jim MacDonald, Architecture and Design Scotland’s Chief Executive, said ‘The built environment touches almost every aspect of our lives and we know from experience how much better the outcomes are when people are actively involved in shaping their places. Through a programme like Stalled Spaces Scotland, communities are empowered to work together to make small, temporary changes to their local areas. We are looking forward to sharing inspiring stories from across the country at our event in Paisley, and launching a toolkit to allow more communities to take on their own stalled spaces.’

Exemplary framework

Andy Milne, Chief Executive SURF said, ‘Everyday, people see spaces around them that need fixed up and they know what would work best in their neighbourhood. Stalled Spaces Scotland helps communities achieve locally significant improvements. Those local regeneration successes help us all make more intelligent links to bigger challenges and the different sorts of information and resources needed to tackle them.’

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer, Scotland’s Town Partnership, said, ‘The financial recession left a lot of scars across Scotland’s urban environments and this dereliction can have a destabilising and detrimental effect on any place. Stalled Spaces Scotland is an exemplar framework which inspires radical incrementalism and creates low cost, high impact solutions. Greening up in particular creates new biodiversity, builds community and provides a sense of confidence’

Legacy programme

Stalled Spaces Scotland was inspired by Glasgow City Council’s Stalled Spaces, and funded by the Scottish Government under the Legacy2014 programme. Launched in 2014 is has been delivered by Architecture and Design Scotland and has supported 50 projects in seven local authority areas.

As part of the Seeding Success event Architecture and Design Scotland will launch the Stalled Spaces Scotland toolkit to help other communities and local authorities to develop their own projects to bring life back into stalled or vacant spaces.

To request your copy of the Stalled Spaces Toolkit please email


Making Places

Making Places: This project is about community empowerment and capacity building through community events and workshops.

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