Edinburgh Local

Local news

Highlights from our local news and events.

Get involved in Volunteers' Week 2023 

Volunteers at the Big Dig at Easter Bush 2023
Volunteers’ Week 2023 is taking place 1-7 June, and we’d like to take a moment to celebrate our staff and students at the University of Edinburgh who dedicate their time to volunteering to support their local communities.  

Local partnership equips people with skills for a digital world

St Cecila's Hall
The University of Edinburgh is pleased to continue their collaboration with local organisation, Access to Industry, hosting digitisation workshops for Access to Industry’s service users.

Youth Vision’s Community Sensory Garden

Youth Vision’s Community Sensory Garden
The University of Edinburgh are proud to have funded Youth Vision’s Community Sensory Garden through its Community Grants Scheme.

Principal of the University of Edinburgh signs Social Impact Pledge

Principal signs Social Impact Pledge 2023
In February 2023, the Principal of the University of Edinburgh signed a Social Impact Pledge, reaffirming the institution’s commitment to improve its social impact.

New community partnership between the University of Edinburgh and People Know How 

People Know How & University of Edinburgh Memorandum of Understanding
The University of Edinburgh and People Know How have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, marking a new era of collaboration between the two organisations.  

University of Edinburgh backs fund that aims to diversify social investments

The University of Edinburgh has committed to invest in a new fund that supports entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.

Doors Open Days 2022 | Visit this weekend!

St Albert's Catholic Chapliancy
We are delighted that Doors Open Days are back for 2022! The University has been a long-standing participant in Doors Open Days, which gives you the opportunity to look inside some incredible buildings and find out more about what goes on behind closed doors.

Preston Street Primary School Celebrates 125th Anniversary

Preston Street Primary School celebrated its 125th anniversary by enabling students to learn about its history through the University of Edinburgh’s heritage collections.  

Refugee Week

Earlier this year, countless people across the globe watched in disbelief as Russian forces invaded Ukraine. To mark this year’s Refugee Week, it seems fitting to focus on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and speak to staff who have been doing all they can to help.

Sew good! - University finds new homes for sewing machines

Last year Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and the Waste and Furniture Management team in Estates rehomed more than 40 serviced and working industrial sewing machines to the local community.

Our Edinburgh Neighbourhood - call for engagement

Our Edinburgh Neighbourhood is a project looking at improving community consultations. A new Urban Room will be located in Waverley Mall from 14 June to 8 July.

Discover more about Gaelic in Edinburgh during World Gaelic Week | Faigh a-mach barrachd mun Ghàidhlig an Dùn Èideann rè Seachdain na Gàidhlig

The University of Edinburgh have updated its successful Gaelic in Edinburgh leaflet and will be distributing 12,000 copies across the city in conjunction with the inaugural World Gaelic Week (Seachdain na Gàidhlig), 21-27 March. Tha Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann air a’ bhileag shoirbheachail aige mu Ghàidhlig ann an Dùn Èideann ùrachadh agus thèid 12,000 lethbhreac a sgaoileadh air feadh a’ bhaile airson a’ chiad Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week)  riamh, air 21-27 Màrt.

Festival brings together live music and experts to offer mental health support to Edinburgh residents

The Festival of Positive Psychology will bring talks, live music, performance, art and games about public mental health to Edinburgh on 5 March.

Engaging young people in climate change

Mythical performers dressed in colourful, mystical outfits lead local school children through the woods.
Rowanbank Environmental Arts & Education's ground-breaking circus show, funded through the Community Grants Scheme, has been helping young people in Craigmillar learn about the environment.

2021 Edinburgh Gaelic Festival launched

The Edinburgh Gaelic Festival (Seachdain na Gàidhlig) will take place 5-12 November 2021, celebrating Edinburgh’s Gaelic community and Gaelic’s place in the capital city.

Local communities in Edinburgh region do their bit for COP26

Green Micro-grants
In the run up to COP26, The University of Edinburgh ran 'The Green Micro-grants' - a grants scheme for community projects with the natural environment and social impact at their heart.

Doors Open Days 2021

The King's Building virtual tour
The University of Edinburgh's home for information on Doors Open Days on 25 and 26 September 2021.

Welcoming back students to Edinburgh

Edinburgh's four universities have come together with a message for our local communities.

Collaboration in action: Tollcross residents and Edinburgh Book Festival

An exciting new project has emerged from the Tollcross Community Action Network.

Dear Lothian: all aboard the summer arts programme!

People Know How's canal boat
Young people in Edinburgh and East Lothian will develop transitioning skills through a University Museums partnership project this summer.

Curious Edinburgh photo presented to US President

A photo taken by a University of Edinburgh staff member has made it to the White House. The photo is of a mural that is part of the BLM Mural Trail.

University contributes £1m into social investment fund to tackle homelessness in Edinburgh 

Simon Community
The University of Edinburgh has partly funded a £5m investment into Simon Community Scotland, an award-winning charity that helps people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Central Scotland. 

Get involved in Volunteers' Week 2021

Volunteers Week 2021
Volunteers’ Week 2021 is taking place 1-7 June, and we’d like to take a moment to celebrate volunteers at the University of Edinburgh. 

New community centre for Craigmillar is open!

IntoUniversity community centre sessions
Education charity IntoUniversity, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow have launched local education centres in Craigmillar and Govan, offering ground-breaking support to local young people.

University donates to local organisations

The University's Accommodation, Catering and Events team (ACE) do their best to reduce waste and support local organisation wherever they can.

Data comic highlights crime trends in Scotland

Crime data comic visual
The data comic, and associated worksheets, were developed in order to consolidate and summarise a substantial body of research that had been produced over more than twenty years by members of the Law School at the University of Edinburgh.  

60 seconds with Gavin Donoghue: our reformed Community Board

Gavin Donoghue, Deputy Director, Stakeholder Relations
We spoke to Gavin Donoghue, Deputy Director of Stakeholder Relations, to hear about how the recently reformed Community Board is designed to help the University achieve the commitments laid out in the Community Plan.

Otter spotting in Edinburgh

This January, a friendly otter was spotted by a member of our Community Team.

University of Edinburgh signs up to vision for city

University. of Edinburgh Principal Peter Mathieson signs Edinburgh 2050 City Vision
The Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Peter Mathieson is the latest person to sign the 2050 Edinburgh Charter, joining other organisations and representatives of the city such as the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Cllr Frank Ross.

University reaffirms its commitment to the city with new Community Plan  

Edinburgh Local banner montage
The University has published a new  Community Plan 2020-25. The plan outlines how we plan to bring about positive social impact and act responsibly and collaboratively with communities in our local region.  

Community benefit in action

We have been working with Balfour Beatty to make sure our local communities benefit from the large projects ongoing across the city.

Sowing the seed for successful local projects

Y2K project 2018
The University is proud to be able to support, and work alongside, local organisations and charities in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas through our Community Grants Scheme.

Doors Open Days 2020

The University of Edinburgh's home for information on Doors Open Days on 26 and 27 September 2020.

Welcoming back students to Edinburgh's universities

Edinburgh's four universities have come together with a message for our local communities.

University supports local action through emergency micro-grants fund

Many local organisations have had to pause their day-to-day activities to respond to the health crisis in their communities. As part of its response to Covid-19, the University has set up an emergency micro-grants fund to support these organisations in their essential work.

Community’s pandemic response receives University support

Projects supporting those most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas have been awarded funding from the University of Edinburgh.

BioQuarter boxes given out to Edinburgh pupils to inspire next generation of scientists

Curiosity boxes packed with fun STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) activities have been given the thumbs up by primary school pupils in Edinburgh.

University and Balfour Beatty mark Eid by making donation

Eid 2020 1
The University of Edinburgh and their construction partners Balfour Beatty have marked Eid by making a donation to families involved in the Syrian Futures Project.

Staff get a day of paid leave to volunteer in community

The importance of voluntary work is recognised by the University, as staff are encouraged to volunteer.

Object(s) of the Month: Parthenon Friezes at ECA

Pantheon Friezes at ECA
The originals of these panels would have decorated the walls of Athens’ Parthenon in Greece.

Object(s) of the Month: Ashworth Building Reliefs

Did you know that the University has several pieces of public art across our campuses?

Edinburgh Local Update

The Edinburgh Local Team would like to share how we will be working during the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Placement Strikes a Chord

The University is helping locals like John Williamson gain valuable new skills.

Object(s) of the Month: Simplicity to Grandeur

This month we have two objects of the month: both are harpsichords which one of our volunteers, John Williamson, chose to highlight the variety of instruments available to view at St Cecilia’s Hall.

Join our Team

We are looking for a Community Engagement Projects Coordinator to run community engagement projects throughout the city.

Community grants hit £200k milestone

A clinic for homeless people's pets, a data literacy club and a choir for refugees are among recent local projects to be backed by our grants.

Object of the month: Winsome Douglass Cushion

Winsome Douglass was an embroiderer from Hartlepool, well-known for her bold and bright designs, which often featured animals.

University joins 'Food Waste Revolution'

Students at DHT cafe
The University of Edinburgh has joined food-waste fighting app 'Too Good to Go'.

Object(s) of the month: Discovery Drawers

Fundamentals of Music Theory
Have you ever wondered how a bassoon reed is made? Or how the uses and prices of recorders have changed through time?

University Joins Forces with Charteris Centre

Man and woman signing a contract
The University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Greyfriars Charteris Centre to support the local community.

Object of the month: Chinese headdress

This rather cheeky-looking child’s headdress from China is one of the key objects soon to be on display in the Main Library’s exhibition Touching Stitches.

Digital Skills Blog

Find out what it's like to be a volunteer or student on our Digital Skills course.

Congratulations to Castleview

Dr Cathy Southworth from the Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) has played a key role in Community Engagement at Castleview Primary School, which has recently been recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Object of the month: The Buglet

Meet the bicycle buglet...

2019 Edinburgh Gaelic Festival launched

The Edinburgh Gaelic Festival (Seachdain na Gàidhlig) is a city-wide festival, taking place 8-16 November 2019 and celebrating Edinburgh’s Gaelic community, past and present.

More University buildings to open their doors to the public this month

McEwan Hall ceiling
The University of Edinburgh is opening its doors to the public as part of the Doors Open Days on 28 and 29 September.

University Makes Positive Pledge

Social impact pledge
The University of Edinburgh has signed a pledge to make a positive social impact through its work with the local community.

The Local and the Global

Human Library
The Business School recently hosted a multi-cultural 'Human Library' event.

Object of the month: Dancing Photo

This rather elegant photo features in Body Language, the current exhibition on at the University’s Main Library.

Cartoon hero adds colour to quad for charity trail

Oor Wullie
An eye-catching sculpture of much-loved national icon 'Oor Wullie' is to take centre stage in the University’s Old College quad this summer.

Object of the month: Indian Mayuri Lute

Every month we feature a fascinating object that's on display in one of the University's museums and galleries. You're invited to come along to the exhibition and see it for yourself! This month: an Indian Mayuri lute

Edinburgh Local Showcase: Engagement in the Curriculum

Community engagement in the curriculum showcase
On Tuesday 14 May the University hosted a showcase of some of the fantastic work being carried out by our students in partnership with local schools and community organisations. 

Object of the month: Florence Nightingale’s Lace Cap

Object of the month: Florence Nightingale’s Lace Cap
Every month we feature a fascinating object that's on display in one of the University's museums and galleries. You're invited to come along to the exhibition and see it for yourself! This month: Florence Nightingale’s Lace Cap.

Object of the month: Gaita gallega (Galician bagpipes)

Gaita gallega (Galician bagpipes)
Every month we feature a fascinating object that's on display in one of the University's museums and galleries. You're invited to come along to the exhibition and see it for yourself!

Community Grants Scheme now open!

Friendship Cafes Hosted by the Welcoming
Bids are invited for grants that help local groups make greater impact across the city.

Public light show at city landmark honours student’s charitable legacy

Bruce Munro exhibition
On 25 March, hundreds of fibre optic flowers will illuminate the University of Edinburgh’s Old College quadrangle to honour a remarkable student who founded a charity during her studies. 

All are welcome to the Festival of Creative Learning 2019!

Festival of Creative Learning 2019, 18-22 Feb, #FCL19
We are delighted to invite YOU to join us for the 2019 Festival of Creative Learning, a week of innovative learning events at the University of Edinburgh, taking place 18th-22nd February 2019. This year we have more events than ever that are open to the public, so it really is not to be missed!

Estates Team raise over £5,500 for dementia research

The Estates Department at the University of Edinburgh have found creative ways in 2018 to raise vital money for the Centre for Dementia Prevention.

Rugby stars rallied for charity sports quiz

Just a Sports Quiz
Scottish rugby legends gathered for a sports-themed quiz to raise funds for research into motor neurone disease.

BioQuarter points the way

New Edinburgh Bioquarter signs
Since Monday 29 October, The University of Edinburgh's Little France campus has become officially known as Edinburgh BioQuarter.

Students and staff support efforts to end homelessness

Sleep in the Park logo
Students and staff to take part in Sleep in the Park to raise money to tackle homelessness.

University lights up the Southside

Christmas lights
On Tuesday 4 December, Moira Gibson, the recently retired Head of External Affairs at the University of Edinburgh, was invited by the Southside Association to switch on the lights at St Patrick Square as part of their Carol Service and Festive Lights Ceremony.

Experts teach tour guides the real story of Burke and Hare

Burle and Hare tour
They are among the world’s most notorious serial killers but the details of their story are often mis-told…

University opens its doors to the public

McEwan Hall ceiling
The University of Edinburgh will take part in the annual Doors Open Day on 29 and 30 September, allowing the public to explore some of the institution’s most interesting buildings for free.

Experienced teacher needed for research project

Researchers at the University are looking to hire an experienced teacher to help turn a piece of research into a teaching resource and advice where it would best fit into the curriculum.

Grassmarket social entrepreneur given honorary degree

Jonny Kinross receives honorary degree
Jonny Kinross, CEO of a successful social enterprise based in Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his charitable work.

Over a hundred attendees at the Edinburgh Local Showcase and Forum

Edinburgh Local Showcase and Forum
On 4 June 2018, community members and University staff were invited to attend The Edinburgh Local Showcase and Forum.

Grant scheme awards over £70,000 to community projects

Community grants scheme funds local projects
Projects aiming to benefit local communities in Edinburgh and Midlothian have been awarded a total of over £70,000 in grants by the University.

How To Read a Novel

James Tait Black shortlist 2018
An online course offers an insight into some of the books and authors shortlisted for this year’s James Tait Black Prizes, the UK’s longest -running literary awards.

St Cecilia's Hall supports people affected by dementia

Sarah Deters with visitors at St Cecelia's hall
Two initiatives at our beautiful Concert Hall help people with dementia and their carers.

Virtual walking tours of Edinburgh

Image of the Edinburgh skyline
A new website and free app called Curious Edinburgh explores the history of the city and its role in science, technology and medicine.

First Modern Apprentice at the IGMM

Modern Apprentices 2018
The Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) is delighted to be hosting its first Modern Apprentice.

Research project supports families with deaf children

Deaf families
Researchers would like to know more about how families on a low income manage when bringing up a deaf child.

Library treasures old and new

Who? Why? What? exhibition
A fascinating exhibition and a rare book are part of the University’s exceptional collections.

Spy Week 2018 is coming

Spy Week 2018
Our annual Spy Week runs from 16-20 April and the University will be hosting public events focusing on espionage fiction and film.

Delivering Positive Impact for Society

Initiatives to support local organisations, homeless people and social enterprises are included in the University's most recent commitment to local communities.

Purple is the colour of epilepsy research

Purple Day 2018
Staff and students are teaming up with local organisations to turn Edinburgh purple on Monday 26 March.

Celebration of Edinburgh's international community

University schools and groups took part in a national day of action, celebrating the contribution of migrants to the UK.

Art Masterclasses for S5 and S6 pupils

ECA main campus
Edinburgh College of Art is offering 5th and 6th year pupils a programme of subject-based masterclasses.

New programme offers another chance to study

A laptop
A new programme will help adult returners to learning who want to study at Edinburgh but who haven't yet got the necessary qualifications.

£1m investment is force for social good

MSPs and Partners at Big Issue Invest event
The University has invested £1 million in a new partnership that seeks to dismantle poverty and create opportunity for people and communities across the UK.

Sleep out makes big impact

University students and staff slept out on a freezing December night and raised over £50,000 to house homeless people in Edinburgh.

Season's Greetings!

Students of Animation at Edinburgh College of Art have created a fun Christmas card where a little star lights up the city.

Giving and receiving at Christmas

Staff and students are busy fundraising and giving this Christmas, and the University also offers a great selection of unusual gifts.

Shoppers take part in Festival of Social Science

The Festival of Social Science came to Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal in November when shoppers took part in family-friendly activities organised by the University in conjunction with Leith Labs. 

Students develop business ideas that tackle social challenges

The mission for students taking part in the #makeyourmark project was to design a product that tackles social challenges whilst also making a profit.

City of Edinburgh honours University Principal

The prestigious Edinburgh Award has been given to the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea.

Students splash colour in playground

Fourth year Graphic Design students researched, designed and installed a garden mural to inject some creativity into the playground of city-centre Tollcross Primary School.

Reunion for unique local residents

A remarkable group of local people, who have contributed to years of research to uncover the key to healthy ageing, have reunited in Edinburgh.

Rare artworks donated to gallery

One of Europe’s most influential painters has gifted a collection of work to the University’s Talbot Rice Gallery.