Hope for Gorgie City Farm with ten groups interested in taking over

Edinburgh's Gorgie City Farm is currently running with just two staff members to feed and take care of the animals. Picture: TSPL
Edinburgh's Gorgie City Farm is currently running with just two staff members to feed and take care of the animals. Picture: TSPL
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Ten different parties have shown interest in taking over Edinburgh’s Gorgie City Farm, which went into liquidation earlier this month.

The groups are both charitable and commercial organisations, and some have followed up with site visits and requests for more information.

But it may be some time before the interested parties are able submit proposals and raise the money needed to take over the running of the 
farm.

Shona Campbell, of liquidators MHS Henderson Loggie, told Edinburgh City Council: “Ten interested parties, both charitable and commercial organisations, have expressed interest in taking over the running of the farm.

“Some have followed up 
with site visits and requests for the further information necessary to undertake due diligence.

“This is positive news, however councillors should be aware it could take many weeks before they are able to submit proposals and secure the funding that is required to take over the running of the farm.

“I have requested that interested parties provide indicative offers next week together with realistic timescales to complete, from which we may in a position to draw up a short list.”

The farm is currently running with just two staff members to feed and take care of the animals.

Ms Campbell added: “As 
liquidator, I am willing to continue running the site to secure a sustainable future for the farm, however, there are costs that must be met including insurance, staff costs, animal feed, vet bills and utilities. There are currently not funds available to meet these costs.”

Council leader Adam McVey said: “It’s really encouraging news that there has been such an interest in taking over the running of the farm.

“Ten organisations coming forward, and the positive response to the crowdfunding initiative, is a clear signal of just how much people across the City value the farm.

“I am pleased to see that the liquidator Shona Campbell is supporting employees in their claims for redundancy and other entitlements and also making sure the animals continue to be cared for.

“We will continue to work closely with Shona and do everything we can to try and secure a sustainable future for the farm.”

Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “It’s very positive that there is so much interest in helping to restart Gorgie Farm Mark 2, even if the flip-side is that it will take longer to identify the new arrangements. “

The farm, which welcomes 200,000 people a year, announced it had gone into liquidation on 2 November, leaving its 23 staff members without jobs.

Worker, Hannah Ryan, set up a GoFundMe page the following day aiming to raise £100,000 to save the well-loved city attraction.

So far over £71,000 has been donated.

The farm cannot continue under its current name, but workers hope to use the money to save the site and re-launch the farm under a different name.