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The influence of public funding on community-based sustainability projects in Scotland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Elizabeth Dinnie, Kirsty L. Holstead

School/Research organisations


Community-based initiatives (CBIs) towards sustainability are increasing. Their activities and impacts have attracted academic interest but little attention has been given to how CBIs engage with policy and institutional spaces. One way in which CBIs engage with these spaces is through receiving public funding. This paper looks at the challenges and opportunities that public funding presents for community groups. Data for this paper were gathered though interviews with CBIs and public funding bodies. The findings show that CBIs experience challenges negotiating technical and procedural, goals and ways of working, affecting their identity and aspirations. In conclusion, we argue that although public funding is crucial for CBIs, it is accompanied by a range of managerial and technical procedures that enrol CBIs in state accountability mechanisms. This may have the effect of favouring a certain type of CBIs or excluding those that cannot or will not accept public funding.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

    Research areas

  • Community-based initiatives, Policy, Public funding, Scotland, Transition

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ID: 268197075