Gorgie City Farm: 'New farm will open in spring'

The broadcaster reports that three charities have been shortlisted to take over the site.
The broadcaster reports that three charities have been shortlisted to take over the site.
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A new farm is set to open in spring on the site of the much loved Gorgie City Farm, it has been reported.

BBC Scotland said three charities had been shortlisted to take over the site.

The closing date for bids is January 11, with the results announced towards the end of the month.

Cyrenians, Penumbra and Love Learning are all said to be in the running.

A spokeswoman from Cyrenians told The Scotsman they were working together with Penumbra on a bid.

The much-loved city farm went into liquidation on November 1 with 18 jobs lost.

A GoFundMe appeal was launched soon after by former employee Hannah Ryan, who told the Edinburgh Evening News she was "overwhelmed" by the public support.

Edinburgh Council confirmed this afternoon that three charities had been shortlisted by liquidators.

Cyrenians CEO Ewan Aitken said, "We are working alongside Royal Highland Agriculture Society of Scotland, Penumbra, the Corra Foundation, Thrive Edinburgh Assembly (NHS Lothian), Aberlour and SAOS (Scottish Agriculture Organisation Society) and other individuals to help find a way forward for Gorgie City Farm.

"Working together as a coalition will not only give us access to a range of expertise and skills, but will help ensure resilience, keeping Gorgie City Farm at the heart of the community, providing opportunities and services to those who need them most.

"We are hopeful that together, we can find a way forward that ensures Gorgie City Farm can reopen to all whilst allowing us to build on the support the farm provided, creating a multi-faceted space for the local community."

Ashley Graczyk, councillor for Sighthill / Gorgie ward, said: “I’m immensely delighted with the short list and progress going forward. As the Sighthill-Gorgie ward Councillor, my main priority is to ensure our well-loved urban farm continues its legacy as a unique piece of Scottish countryside in the heart of Edinburgh.

Our local community farm is invaluable to the local community and beyond with huge benefits it has on people’s physical and mental health, community cohesion and local environment. It is particularly great for children who live in the city, as they rarely get the chance to see and learn about real farm animals.”

Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “After the shock of the farm’s sudden closure on 1 November it is good to see signs of real progress in making Gorgie Farm Mark 2 a reality. As I understand it there is a bit of work to do still in weighing up the merits of different approaches but I would expect to see that done within the next month.

"It is vital that whoever takes over really gets what people loved about Gorgie Farm: public access, education work, volunteer opportunities for all abilities and the fact that it has been a working farm. I hope we are now getting towards a happy conclusion to a difficult time.”

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