Policymakers worldwide are realising that traditional welfare systems need modernisation. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with economic, ecological, and social crises intensifying, these systems are being exposed as inefficient, ineffective, and unjust. Policymakers have therefore begun exploring Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a potential alternative. This is leading to rising interest in basic income trials, with pilots proposed or in the pipeline in many countries, including Scotland and Wales. However, pilots are often designed without meaningful community participation, which raises significant ethical and practical concerns. Through a series of qualitative workshops in Jarrow, one of the more deprived areas in the UK and an archetypal target for ‘Levelling Up’ policy, we explored and categorized local concerns, hopes, and suggestions for piloting basic income in the area. This article presents those findings and thereby builds the knowledge base around community perspectives on local basic income pilots.