Edinburgh: Towards a cooperative city (case studies)


In October 2012, the City of Edinburgh Council agreed a ‘Framework to Advance a Cooperative Capital 12/17’, this identified key objectives and related change objectives:

Cooperative Capital Themes   Intended Change
Cooperative Societies   “Changing the market and economic infrastructure”
Cooperative Community Engagement   “Changing our relationship with communities”
Cooperative Procurement   “Changing the way we buy and grant aid goods and services”
Cooperative Education   “Changing the culture of schools and childcare”
Cooperative Service Delivery   “Changing the way we review and design services”
Cooperative Corporate Social Responsibility (included in May 2013)   “Changing Corporate Social Responsibility to meet city outcomes



The Council wants Edinburgh to become a Cooperative Capital where public services work better together and communities have more influence over the services which they use.

The Cooperative Capital approach has come about because of the reductions in public sector funding combined with increasing demand for services. The Council and partners need to undertake substantial cultural and practical change to respond to these challenges.

Thinking and working in a cooperative way, i.e.; routinely working with service users and other interests, should assist in ensuring that Edinburgh has a prosperous future and that high quality and purposeful services continue to be delivered.


A twin-track approach is being used to introduce these changes:

  • Development of cooperative initiatives in energy, housing, childcare and adult social care; and
  • a range of ‘change-focussed’ projects working with others to deliver better quality outcomes.

In order to better understand the impacts of this approach, six case studies are attached which illustrate the difference being made by cooperative activity and in finding solutions to budgetary and demand pressures.

Click here to view the case studies