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Transforming Vacant and Derelict Land

The legacy of Scotland’s industrial past means that almost a third of the Scottish population lives within 500 meters of a derelict site. In deprived communities that figure increases to 55%. The amount of land on the Vacant and Derelict Land Register has remained static for years, and the consequences of this for wellbeing are enormous.

Never has the importance of high quality places been more important or their absence so keenly felt. But it doesn’t have to be this way. These sites could be so much more – they could help us solve some of our biggest challenges.

Bringing abandoned and unloved urban places back into productive use could help us tackle climate change, improve health and wellbeing, create more resilient communities and rebuild our economy in a way that helps everyone achieve their full potential.

The Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce is working to transform the existing approach to bringing vacant and derelict land back into productive use. Comprised of senior decision-makers from regulatory agencies, private companies and third sector organisations the Taskforce will act as a catalyst for addressing long term land vacancy and dereliction across Scotland.

Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce - Statement of Intent

The taskforce’s Statement of Intent details the actions required to make this happen:

  • Coordinate priorities for action and align finance and support
  • Use the rich data Scotland has about vacant and derelict sites to promote opportunities for re-use of land
  • Learn through demonstration what changes are needed in regulatory, policy and finance systems
  • Embed a socially responsible corporate culture to prevent future sites being abandoned

We have published a programme of research and analysis to help better understand the nature of the challenge, the impact of vacant and derelict land on communities, identify potential changes to policy and practice and share experience of successful projects.

To help communities and decision makers properly assess the impacts of vacant and derelict sites we have created a toolkit alongside a funding table identifying the different sources of funding available for regeneration of derelict sites.

A framework has also been developed to assess the impact of bringing sites back into use that takes account of wider social, environmental and community benefits. This framework will help change Scotland’s approach to land reuse to look beyond narrow financial returns and capture the wider benefits that the reuse of sites could generate for society.

Bringing abandoned and unloved urban places back into productive use could help us tackle climate change, improve health and wellbeing, create more resilient communities and rebuild our economy in a way that helps everyone achieve their full potential.  Here are some inspiring examples of what can be done

Assessing the wider benefits of bringing derelict land back into use