Saturday 3 November 2012

Edinburgh Allotment Factsheet

In 2012 City of Edinburgh Council are renting out 1,037 allotment plots (and 21 raised beds).

The rent is £80 per plot (and £35 per raised bed)

Full rental income (plots x rent) = £83,695

The Council estimates its costs as £81,370.37  (up 18%  from an actual figure of £69,102.99 in 2011)

Edinburgh Council offers a 50% rent discount to tenants on state benefit or over the age of 60.

Over half Edinburgh allotment tenants (541) qualify for the discount.

The resulting shortfall on the full rental is £21,550

The shortfall in the allotment budget - the amount the Council actually pay - is  £16,745.87, nearly £5,000 less than the subsidy.

2013 Rents are being increased to £90 (£45 subsidised) yieding full rental income of £94,170

2014 rents are being increased to £100 (£50 subsidised) yielding full rental income of £104,660

Based on a projection of the 2012 figures, actual rents collected are expected to be £70,000 in 2013 and £77,700 in 2014, so the Council's annual  'top up' contribution will all but disappear, by how much will depend on how costs are kept under control. The cost of the subsidy will be £27,000 but this will be covered entirely by the higher rents paid by both the subsidised and non subsidised tenants.

When you consider that over 50% of Edinburgh allotment holders are on benefit or over 60 years old you realise that these are two groups whose income has not risen much in the last decade, yet their allotment rentals will have risen by 333% between 2005 and 2014


  1. And not only that...all of those not on benefits or over 60 are paying for the subsidies in the rises and totally taking away any payment from the council. Hardly seems fair!!!

    How much of a waiting list do you have Mal??

    1. We had to wait over 2 years before we got a plot - That was 25 years ago. Now the waiting list is even longer. And it's still no excuse to bump up the rents!

  2. It wouldn't be quite so bad if you actually saw something for your money ie. sites being maintained but as far as I can see in our area, rental may go towards admin costs but I'm not sure what else. Just to be a devil's advocate if plots were free they wouldn't need any admin and the money that they reckon they put in as a subsidy could pay for anythng such as frozen water pipes.

    1. To their credit Edinburgh are raising funds to set up new allotments...

      It's just that they would like to raise the set up costs from the current allotment community!