University’s new Community Plan puts EFI at the heart of civic commitment

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A new Community Plan outlines how the University of Edinburgh will deliver on its promise of Social and Civic Responsibility to communities in our local region.

A new Community Plan outlines how the University of Edinburgh will deliver on its promise of Social and Civic Responsibility, bring about positive social impact, and act responsibly and collaboratively with communities in our local region.

EFI is helping to drive the civic contribution of the University both on a local and global scale. Our commitment to working in partnership with communities at home and abroad to build programmes of research and education underscores the co-creation ethos of the community plan.

Recognising that the challenges facing societies are complex and multi-layered, EFI aims to empower communities and in doing so support regeneration and transformation.

Welcoming our communities

The new EFI building will symbolise the University’s commitment to being open and welcoming to our communities. Spaces for performance, a public cafe and gardens will be open to the local community to use and enjoy. We were delighted to share some of the past, present and future of the historic building in our Virtual Tour which launched recently.

The University’s plan outlines 32 practical commitments. Ranging from working with local primary and secondary schools, widening participation, sport and exercise and the Students Association to museums and collections and public and community engagement, among many other areas.

Some of the highlights include:

  • a commitment to provide £250,000 in community grants to local organisations over the next five years;
  • the signing of the Edinburgh 2050 City Vision Charter;
  • a commitment to locate a new learning centre in the Craigmillar area of the city;
  • a day of paid leave for staff to volunteer in the community

Assistant Principal for Community Relations, and Director of EFI, Prof Lesley McAra said:

“The University has developed this new Community Plan in the spirit of co-creation with a wide range of community partners, as well as with our own staff and students. We are conscious the University has not always got its relationship with our local communities right in the past, and so have actively sought out, and welcomed, the feedback we have received during the consultation process.

“The University has a critical role to play in supporting our city region’s post Covid-19 recovery and regeneration in a positive, measurable and sustainable way. Specifically, we want to help look at how we tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, promote digital inclusion, and support vulnerable groups and areas of our city.”

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with the Community team, please email:

More about the Community Plan is available here:

The EFI virtual tour is here:

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