Skip to content
Glasgow City Council

Community Development

Empowering local people and communities

As part of Glasgow's mission to empower communities, People Make Glasgow Communities will encourage the people who know, use and are passionate about local resources such as buildings, pitches and local facilities, to make them more relevant and accessible to everyone in the community.

The impact of the global pandemic means it is more difficult to continue to deliver services using traditional operating models, whilst meeting the needs and expectations of the people who value these services. As part of Glasgow City Council's Property and Land Strategy, the Council (including Glasgow Life) is looking at new ways of operating its current directly-managed estate.

This work will demonstrate a commitment to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals - fostering sustainable communities.

What do we mean by community?

Even before the pandemic, Glasgow City Council had been responding to changes in the city's needs and opening up discussions about how to adapt provision to better meet them.

Discussions were focused around a number of topics, each contributing to an updated model of community:

Localised services

  • The design of services operated across the city needs to be updated to better respond to local requirements.
  • Current best practice states that community provision should respond to, and be designed by, local needs rather than be a standard city-wide response.

Changes in population

  • How people live across the city has changed, we spend our free time differently and need different kinds of support at different points in our lives.
  • Where people live in the city has changed over time too.

Building stock

  • Many community buildings in Glasgow are out of date for their current use. This drives up operating costs to the point where they can be unsustainable. Some new models are being explored to look at how services delivered by a wide-range of providers can be brought together in a building so that costs can be shared between groups.

Structural and funding models

  • Partnerships between different third sector and community-based organisations have been proven to deliver a more joined-up service.

Connecting into Glasgow's innovative heritage in community

  • Some community projects in Glasgow have already attracted attention because of their long-term focus on the root causes of problems.
  • Glasgow will host COP26 later this year, and by framing community activity against the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, there is the opportunity to gain international awareness of the wide range of innovative work going in in the city.

What does community mean in Glasgow?

There is no doubt that the people of Glasgow are friendly. The pandemic has shown just how caring they are too. We take genuine civic pride in the fact that 'People Make Glasgow'.

Throughout the last year, the city has seen thousands of acts of community spirit which have ranged from people helping neighbours and friends in need, to supporting key workers, to pilot schemes where local groups and organisations have stepped in and helped venues and facilities to reopen.

Community spirit can be spontaneous. From the big breakthrough moments to the small acts of kindness, this kind of community is built on a spirit of generosity, including:

  • Offering help to those in need
  • Caring for your neighbour
  • Saying a kind word in the street

Community spirit can be planned, including:

  • Volunteering
  • Giving to charity

Community spirit can also be programmed services and activities delivered by groups and organisations, such as:

  • Activities for particular age groups and needs, from toddlers to those with dementia, from those who want to exercise to those wanting to make new connections
  • Training to develop skills and knowledge to lead to new opportunities they don't know they're capable of yet
  • Food banks
  • Free swimming lessons for children
  • Libraries with Macmillan support, Universal Credit support, ESOL lessons
  • Free access to museums
  • Social prescribing activities

Whether planned or spontaneous, individual or group led, the benefits of community spirit to the city's social fabric cannot be underestimated. It creates social cohesion, this can reduce antisocial behaviour and save taxpayers much more than the cost of community work. Supporting and caring for others can also make people feel more fulfilled.

The Community Empowerment Act and City Charter

Glasgow City Council's commitment to empowering communities can be seen in the Council's Strategic Plan and City Charter.

The Community Empowerment Act and the Glasgow City Council Strategic Plan set out the priority themes and commitments that will be delivered between 2017 and 2022 including delivering a step change in:

"How we empower our citizens, giving them a stake, and a say, in what happens in their local communities and communities of interest."

In May 2018, Glasgow City Council produced its first City Charter, an informal agreement between the Council and citizens which was created and developed through dialogue and consultation with citizens. The proposed approach to promoting community engagement in the city would follow this approach.

People Make Glasgow Communities - Call to Action

People Make Glasgow Communities aims to support the values agreed the City Charter:

  • Be open, transparent and easily accessible
  • Communicate freely with city residents and involve them in the formulation of policy, services and decision making.
  • Be fairer and more equal, giving everyone in Glasgow the chance to flourish and improve their life chances and choices.
  • Work to uphold and protect basic human rights including treating people with dignity, fairness, equality, and respect.
  • Promote pride in the city's people, heritage, facilities, achievements and appearance.
  • Be proud to live and work in Glasgow and support the city to continue to achieve in the future.
  • Work in partnership allowing people to contribute, and allow ideas from any source to be heard and considered.

The Call to Action aims to:

  • Foster long term partnerships
  • Celebrate the great work already being undertaken in Glasgow
  • Encourage more! 
  • Allow a multiplicity of voices
  • Be ambitious and innovative in creating a new future for the city

If you would like to get involved with delivering local venues and services in your area, click here.

Have a look at some frequently asked questions about People Make Glasgow Communities

You can read about some of the community groups in the process of taking over their venue, building or facility here.


Share this page:

A to Z:

Council Services