Transition Edinburgh South (TES) is part of the transition movement created by people working together in local areas towards transformative change that significantly reduces carbon emissions, meet social needs, enable sustainable lifestyles, and create new forms of collaborative democracy and decision-making.

The most successful examples of transition projects tend to be in small towns. The most famous example is Totness in Devon. Cities like Edinburgh provide a more difficult challenge and our approach is to work on a more local level while remaining in touch with national and city wide organisations including the umbrella group that formed after Transition Edinburgh South had been running for some years, Transition Edinburgh.

Since 2013 our main focus has been on the less affluent areas of Edinburgh South, particularly Gracemount, Burdiehouse, Southhouses and Moredun. We have previously also worked with local people in the wealthier parts of the southside including Morningside.

Transition Edinburgh South was established as a voluntary association in 2009 and became a Company Limited by Guarantee in March 2013 and then a Community Interest Committee CIC and now also a charity.

We are currently governed by a small management committee who are also trustees of the CIC and directors of the charity but must be elected at an AGM. TES also has a much larger set of members, supporters and stakeholders. We have an annual general meeting open to all at which members vote. We welcome new members and new trustees/directors.  Both are open to everyone so long as they are honest, accept the ethos expressed in our safeguarding policy for Gracemount Community Garden and their objectives are compatible with those of TES as set out in its constitution.

Our main project at the moment is supporting Gracemount Community Garden which was started when we got funding in 2013 for a project called Grow Stronger in the walled garden, once attached to a big house known as the Mansion,  that most recently housed a youth and community centre owned by City of Edinburgh Council. TES’s longer term ambition includes the development of a community café and training kitchen in the currently derelict stable block attached to the walled garden. Since the deterioration and closure of the Mansion, TES is supporting Friends of the Mansion to set up a locally and democratically run Mansion Development Trust (MDT) as a new charity. The plan is that MDT will then take over the Mansion and its grounds from the City of Ediburgh Council in an asset transfer using the Community Empowerment Act. MDT will then lease the garden to TES who will continue to run the garden while the MDT develops it plans for the Mansion and grounds.  In the long run we hope that the MDT will manage a number of social enterprises.