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Monday, June 17, 2024

Gorgie Farm could be saved from closure says council

Gorgie City Farm

One of Scotland’s last urban farms could be saved from closure as several organisations have expressed interest in running it.

Love Gorgie Farm, which gives volunteering opportunities to disadvantaged young people and adults, is due to close on Monday.

The charity that runs it said they had been hit by pandemic restrictions, the cost of living and lack of funding.

Council leader Cammy Day said ideas for the site would be heard within days.

He added the council was looking into keeping the animals on the farm in Gorgie until its future was agreed.

  • Urban farm forced to close again over rising costs
  • New owners take over urban farm

He updated a cross-party group of councillors and local MSPs about the latest developments at a special meeting in the city chambers on Wednesday.

He said: “It’s really encouraging to have these organisations telling us they would be interested in taking over the running of Gorgie Farm.

“Obviously it is still very early in the process but we’ll be meeting with them over the coming days to hear exactly what they have to say and their ideas for the site.

“There has been an outpouring of support expressed for the farm and willingness from community groups, the public and local politicians to help find a solution.”

Pigs at Gorgie City Farm

Love Learning, which took over the farm after it went into liquidation in 2019, said it had “tried everything” to avoid closure.

Crowdfunding brought in £100,000 and the charity reopened the farm in 2020.

The charity’s CEO, Lynn Bell, told BBC Scotland: “When we took over the farm we were told by the administrators that City of Edinburgh Council gives £100,000 a year and had been doing so in the farm’s 40 year history.

“But when we took it over we kept asking the council when it was going to open its grant so we could apply but it never did.

“Also, just weeks after we officially opened the Covid lockdown began and now the cost of living crisis has hit, and we just can’t do it alone.”

Gorgie City Farm

Love Learning said energy bills for the three-acre farm rose from £17,000 for 18 months to £27,000 for just eight months.

The farm has about 50 livestock and 50 pets, including sheep, pigs, ducks, geese and chickens and a number of smaller animals including snakes and lizards.

There are 30 staff at the farm and many more volunteers. There are also allotments on the site.

Related Internet Links

  • Gorgie City Farm

  • Love Learning

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