Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
A blog post by Rosanna Harvey-Crawford
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I joined #TeamKSBScot in October of this year, to support one of our newest campaigns – Scotland’s Climate Festival.
I am excited to see it come to life following the launch of our web pages earlier this week which now provide support and information about applying for seed funding. We have put out a call for communities to register their events with us, and already have a number committed to action, and highlighted on our map.
It is great, that in such a short time, we launched Scotland’s Climate Festival in September 2021, we are already promoting the first event.
The Festival is an opportunity for individuals and groups across Scotland to hold exciting and innovative events in local communities from now until the end of March. It encourages community engagement on climate change issues from energy, to growing and travel. Communities can host a single event or a multi-day festival – all ideas are welcome!
The very first registered Climate Festival is Falkirk Delivers. It has organised a two-day festival Shop26, which will be held on 5 and 6 November, to coincide with the global climate summit COP26 in Glasgow and to promote Falkirk as a positive and green place to live, shop, work and visit. Falkirk Delivers works with various project partners to improve the visitor experience of the town centre, as well as revitalising trading as a Business Improvement District (BID). They have four strategic aims: cleanliness, safety, marketing and tourism. Falkirk Delivers also utilises a Falkirk Gift Card scheme to encourage spending in the local area, supporting local businesses.
Shop26 is a chance for Falkirk and the surrounding area to showcase its brilliant sustainable businesses and initiatives. On Friday 5 November, partner organisations will display their work in promotional stalls around the town centre. On Saturday 6 November, there will be a market in Falkirk town centre, with stalls joining to sell sustainable and local food, eco-friendly crafts and clothing and more! The start-up PeddleSmart, who are going to be carrying out all business deliveries in Falkirk as part of a new pilot scheme, will be there with their vehicles. There will also be organisations like Litter Strategy and the Woodland Trust, talking about waste and protecting the natural environment with locals and visitors.
However, before the market starts STORM will be coming to Falkirk! Who is STORM? She is a giant 10 metre puppet made of recycled marine litter who will be walking through Falkirk on her way to Glasgow. STORM began her journey through Scotland last year as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. As Falkirk makes strides in becoming more sustainable, it’s an exciting moment to have STORM walking through the town centre on the way to COP26.
‘Falkirk Delivers is delighted to lead the way as the first community event to participate in Scotland’s Climate Festival with our SHOP26 event. This is a first for our town centre, and we’re expecting a fantastic turn out thanks to the fantastic retailers, exhibitors and our special guest Storm the sea goddess! We hope to inspire others across the country to create their own community-led events as a way to involve people everywhere in ideas and actions for a sustainable future.’
A Climate Festival or event can be a powerful and fun way to engage a local community on climate change and climate action. Falkirk shows how valuable collaboration with local businesses and organisations can be, and how encouraging dialogue on climate change can go hand in hand with making your place a better one to live in.
If you feel inspired to put on a climate event or festival in your community go to Scotland's Climate Festival to learn more about joining the Climate Festival, funded by Scottish Government. We have national partners who can support groups by providing event resources like speakers and workshop materials, covering a wide range of topics. There is also a How To guide to take you step by step through the process of planning an event. Even if you’re a group that has never hosted an event before, we want to make sure you have the tools and resources to do so. Crucially, we also have a seed fund available for fledgeling groups with grants of up to £500 available. With COP26 currently unfolding in Glasgow, now is a great time to empower and engage your community on climate action!
I look forward to working with you and supporting you in the development and delivery of your own climate festival. And for those that just want to attend an event in their area, keep an eye on our map to find out what is going on where.