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What is a civic society?

Civic societies are community-based and volunteer-led groups who promote civic pride in their local area.

Civic societies represent a particularly valuable resource in the shaping of Scotland's communities and places.

One of Scotland's most important resources is its environment, old and new, natural and cultural. An informed and active civic group can influence the way in which this resource is managed, to the benefit of future generations to come.

So, how do they do it?

Almost 90% of civic groups comment on planning applications and over 90% comment on local planning policy. Many also organise lectures and social events, and run awards schemes. Other activities include improvements to the local area, work with schools and local businesses, with about 10% being involved in actually repairing historic buildings.

Building a Movement

The Scottish Civic Trust acts as an umbrella body for local civic societies and local environment groups spanning the length and breadth of Scotland.

The Scottish Civic Trust welcomes requests for affiliation from all civic groups and societies in Scotland that share our core objectives and there are currently 108 civic groups affiliated to SCT.

It is clear that many civic groups value being part of a bigger movement. SCT held its first annual conference for local groups since the 1970s in 2010, and we continue to develop the conference as an opportunity for the network to come together and share ideas and experience. You can see reports and papers from our previous conferences in the Resources section. 

Download our leaflet - What is a Civic Society? - for more information. 


83% of civic groups want to increase their general membership SCT Civic Survey 2012