Charities express interest in saving Gorgie City Farm

Cropp6 gorgie farm 2 chicken petting

Talks are ongoing to ensure the community facility is saved after its shock closure last week

7th November 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Charities have expressed an interest in helping Gorgie City Farm to rise from the ashes.

Staff and volunteers at the Edinburgh community attraction were left in shock last week when the liquidators were called in.

A campaign to save the farm has been started and City of Edinburgh Council has said it is working with several interested parties in a bid to save the farm.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “We are working with the insolvency practitioner to make every effort to secure a future for the farm in Gorgie which has provided a valuable experience for adults and children across the city for many years.

"The insolvency practitioner must now be given time to work with interested parties and it is unlikely that we will find out more until at least the end of next week."

McVey added he was very encouraged that “several credible charities” had expressed interest in taking over the farm.

More than £60,000 has been raised by those looking to ensure the farm is saved, with nearly 3,000 having made donations so far.

Volunteer Edinburgh are offering support and advice to former volunteers, and former staff members have formed a group called Edinburgh Community Farm.

A statement on Twitter from the group said: “Firstly, we are all devastated that Gorgie City Farm has now closed its doors for good. As an organisation it cannot be saved and the liquidators have informed us that we are no longer allowed to use the term "Gorgie City Farm".

“However, former staff members are working on a voluntary basis to see if the site can be secured for a similar project with a similar ethos in the future. A new project may be called Edinburgh Community Farm and we are using that as a working title in our communications.”

The group is leading talks with interested parties with an aim of saving the farm, including making links with other charities.

Liquidator MHA Henderson Loggie is caring for all animals that lived at the farm, and it said it is confident that homes can be found for all of them.

The charity promoted environmental sustainability, community development and social inclusion.

It has welcomed around 200,000 visitors a year since it was saved from closure in 2016 after a successful crowdfunding appeal raised in excess of £100,000.

As well as being a visitor attraction, it was also a working farm and provides assisted volunteering experience for hundreds of people each year who face barriers to employment.

It received funding from City of Edinburgh Council, various grant giving trusts and individual donors and generates additional income through its café and animal boarding service.

However the liquidators were called in last week, with falling revenues as a result of a decline in external funding meaning the charity’s board felt it was impossible for services to be retained.