THE Common Weal think tank has unveiled plans for a string of cafe bars and a new media hub to meet the public appetite for progressive politics seen in the referendum, and channel it into further grass-roots campaigning.

The left-wing project, which popularised the idea of an independent Scotland as a healthier, wealthier and fairer country with Nordic-style social policies, aims to open its first outlet in Glasgow before Christmas. Combining organising and socialising, the aim of the cafes is to bring together people who want to pursue political change despite the No vote.

Common Weal is also launching a social media website, Common­Space, to provide an alternative TV service, a debating space, a policy library, and a contact point for activists.

The Common Weal board agreed last week to fund the first cafe bar through a business loan, with Common­Space funded through crowdsourcing.

Future cafes, or "Commons", could also be set up by local communities.

Those behind Common Weal hope the developments produce a wider shift in civic society.

Common Weal director Robin McAlpine said: "The old model of civic Scotland was very top-down … Social media has enabled a genuinely grass-roots movement to emerge. It can think for itself, talk among itself, promote diverse ideas, organise itself and learn from itself. We are trying to keep that movement and that attitude alive … to drive the agenda of Scottish politics for a generation."

Originally part of the Jimmy Reid Foundation named after the Clydeside trade unionist, Common Weal recently became a think tank and limited company after what Reid's family called a "bitter internal dispute" over power.