A timeline of Sustaining Dunbar’s main projects and collaborations since 2008, and some of independent organisations that we have helped establish and nurture.

2023 to date: Connecting Dunbar 2.0
What if it was safer to get around Dunbar? What if there were fewer barriers? What if you could have a say? What do we need to change? The project aims to create better walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure in wider Dunbar in order to facilitate more active travel and more sustainable local transport, as well as creating more liveable streets.It is funded by Sustrans’ ‘Places for Everyone’ programme. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2023 to date: Dunbar Bike Hub
We take a good quality bike that is no longer wanted and overhaul it and pass it onto a deserving individual, along with cycle training if required. A Sustaining Dunbar Project..

2022 to date: The Pledgehog Project
Hedgehog populations are in steep decline all over the UK and urgently need your help. The Pledgehog Project aims to mobilise as many people as possible to help these much loved creatures. A Sustaining Dunbar Project..

2020 to date: What If? Network
We convene the ‘What If?’ partners network of local groups, organisations and businesses working together to make a difference. Join us if your organisation shares our broad aim of working for thriving people in a flourishing place. With financial support from Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership, Investing in Communities Fund, and the Community Recovery Fund. Convened by Sustaining Dunbar.

2020 to date: Fixing For A Future
East Linton Tool Library and Repair Cafe including skills workshops in bicycle, textile and furniture repair and more, across East Lothian. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund and National Lottery. A collaboration between Climate Action East Linton and Sustaining Dunbar.

2017 – 2020: Coworking Dunbar 
Research and planning to develop a community co-working centre to provide workspace, inspiration and support to freelancers, commuters, remote workers, artists, businesses, social enterprises and community groups in and around Dunbar. With financial support from Strengthening Communities Fund and the Scottish Land Fund. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2017 to date: Climate Action East Linton (CAEL) is a friendly, informal group of people living in the East Linton area who care deeply about the climate and biodiversity crises. We are all learning as we go and facing the crises together.  We used to be called East Linton Melting Pot but are now called Climate Action East Linton for better clarity. An affiliated member of Sustaining Dunbar.

2017 to date: Reuse Scotland
Reuse Scotland is a charity that grew out of Miixer CIC, a non-profit Social Enterprise based in East Lothian that was all about reuse; keeping good things in local circulation, rather than landfill. Miixer CIC was established in April 2017 to continue and develop the legacy of Dunbar as Scotland’s First Zero Waste Town. An independent spinout from a Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2015 – 2016: Feed Your Family From 50 Miles
Many of us would like to eat locally grown and produced food but sometimes we just don’t have the time to shop around to find it and some food and drink labelling can be vague and time consuming to read. By clearly labelling local produce and identifying places where you can This project intended to clearly identify and label food grown or reared within fifty miles of Dunbar/East Linton, including products made with locally grown ingredients. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2014 to date: East Lothian Community Rail Partnership
is a bridge between the railway and the local community. The East Lothian Community Rail Partnership is one of over 50 Community Rail Partnerships around the UK. ELCRP works on realising an integrated transport network which is accessible to all. Supported by Sustaining Dunbar.

2014 to 2017: Zero Waste Dunbar was Scotland’s First Zero Waste Town: working to reduce waste to landfill and maximise the benefits of re-use and recycling. Moving to be a Zero Waste Town is an ambitious project. We succeeded in starting the process of enabling our locality to seriously rethink and embed changes that will lead to zero waste to landfill. With financial support from Zero Waste Scotland. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2012 to date: Belhaven Community Garden (BCG) is transforming the land beside Dunbar’s Belhaven Hospital into gardens where local residents, community groups, staff and patients can grow together. It has been running since 2012, creating a therapeutic and biodiverse space for growing and learning. With financial support from Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2012 – 2015: Cycling
In 2012, we kicked off a number of projects which responded to the community’s desire to cycle more. Dunbar Cycle Links began campaigning for better local cycle routes. Bikeability helped folk get their bikes out of the shed and onto the road – plus, running cycling training and a Dr Bike safety check scheme for schools. Cycle Friendly Dunbar was all about encouraging local businesses to have bike first-aid kits on hand to give local people the confidence to cycle more and cycle further. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. Sustaining Dunbar Projects.

2012 to date: Dunbar Fairtrade Town
The Dunbar Fairtrade Group engages with schools, local businesses, churches and community groups who sell Fairtrade products. Supported by Sustaining Dunbar.

2011 to date: Co-Wheels East Lothian
In 2011, a group of volunteers established a Community Interest Company Sparewheels. Thanks to support from the Scottish Government, they were able to launch in March 2011 with two community owned cars. Sparewheels (Dunbar) later joined forces with EasyWheels (Haddington) and spread to North Berwick to become Co-Wheels East Lothian. This is now part of the UK wide Co-Wheels network of community-led carsharing clubs which gives members access to cars in over 60 locations from Dundee to Portsmouth. Supported by Sustaining Dunbar.

2011 to date: Rural East Lothian Bus Users is working towards a well, co-ordinated, accessible and affordable bus service that meets the needs of local people. They focus on issues affecting rural areas as these generally have the poorest quality of service, but speak up for all bus users in East Lothian. Supported by Sustaining Dunbar.

2011-2012: First Steps to Resilience
The independent car sharing club Sparewheels was established, six schools and 72 households took up worm composting with Worms Work, and a scheme for a community-owned wind farm was finalised. 121 households participated in Household Canny Challenge, reducing energy and food bills, making our streets and roads safer for playing, walking and cycling and getting neighbours together. We also ran a successful Canny Schools programme in the local primary and secondary schools. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. Sustaining Dunbar Projects.

2011: Connecting Dunbar
We spent a year researching local travel patterns, identifying the barriers to greater use of walking, cycling and public transport and producing resources such as route maps and timetables. You can read the Connecting Dunbar Report here and have a look at the Transport Surveys here. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2011: The Local Resilience Action Plan is a draft vision and action plan for starting to build a resilient low carbon community in Dunbar and District over the coming years to 2025. It builds on local survey findings where over 1500 residents in the Dunbar and East Linton ward area were interviewed during 2009-2011, highlighting a strong desire to be able to source more locally produced food, live in more comfortable and energy efficient homes in neighbourhoods which are safe and attractive to walk and cycle around, for increased opportunities for local employment and much more. This action plan provides a guiding framework for the work of Sustaining Dunbar. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2011 to date: Dunbar Community Bakery
We carried out a feasibility study for a locally owned bakery which resulted in the establishment of the independent Dunbar Community Bakery. With financial support from Awards for All. A Sustaining Dunbar spinout.

2010 to date: Our Locality Web Publishing
A local website platform for individuals, groups and small businesses to establish an online presence rapidly for free. FREE support continues to be provided with dozens of websites and micro sites launched providing space for community councils, startups, bloggers and local projects. Since 2019, following demand from satisfied users, paid plans were introduced. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2010 – 15: BeGreen Dunbar
The BeGreen Dunbar Energy Advice Centre was opened by the privately owned Community Windpower Ltd in November 2008. Our team of home energy advisors were based in The Energy Advice Centre which has advised and assisted numerous local residents from Dunbar and the wider District with a wide range of energy saving technologies. A Sustaining Dunbar collaboration.

2009 – 2012: Incredibly Edible Dunbar and District helped reconnect people to the land, soil, resources and climate around them by giving them access to food, knowledge, skills and tools. The project included the Dunbar Community Chicken Coop, Edible Places & Spaces, Community Bees and edible flower pots around the town. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

2009 – 2011: The Dunbar 2025 project asked people what is important to them and lay the groundwork for the future structural changes in the local economy required to achieve substantial long-term carbon savings. At the same time we wanted to start making immediate carbon savings where it was easy to do so. There were two main objectives to this project: (1) To engage as many and as wide a range of people as possible in preparing and starting to implement a Zero Carbon Dunbar Vision and Action Plan; (2) To bring about a significant and rapid reduction in carbon emissions from domestic energy use through reducing energy wastage, improving energy efficiency and installation of micro-renewables where appropriate. With financial support from the Climate Challenge Fund. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

We hosted the first Scottish Food Relocalisation Gathering, which led to the Declaration of Dunbar and the creation of a new national body campaigning for quality local food in Scotland, which operates independently as Nourish. Read the report on the event here. A Sustaining Dunbar Project.

Launch of Sustaining Dunbar. We set up Sustaining Dunbar to steward and support the Transition Town project, aiming to provide a means for people to get together to start planning and creating a positive and sustainable future for the Dunbar and East Linton area.
“As we wean ourselves off our dependence on fossil fuels, how can we use this as an opportunity to build a better future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren?”

Dunbar becomes Scotland’s second Transition Towna grassroots community project aiming to increase self-sufficiency so that we can build a caring, sharing community as we move away from fossil fuels, reduce emissions and tackle climate change.

This is not an exhaustive list! Not included here are all the films shown; talks and lectures hosted; workshops, trainings and discussions held; books read and events put on since 2008.