EDINBURGH’S Lord Provost is to help launch an appeal for funds which will be used to rebuild a fire-hit community centre.
Councillor Donald Wilson will today give his backing to residents bidding to salvage Corstorphine Public Hall (CPH) after it was engulfed by a blaze in October 2013.
Leaders at Corstorphine Public Hall Company Limited are hoping the appeal will generate £700,000 in what they have described as the “first phase” of a redevelopment plan.
The hall previously hosted a wide range of community groups and activities, including after-school clubs, neo-natal sessions, indoor bowls and table tennis.
It is believed around 500 individuals were regularly using the venue before it was damaged.
Hall bosses also hope to secure at least £2 million for a long-term revamp and said this could lead to the building being made available to a larger number of individuals.
Its community centre wing is situated next to a former library extension, which was the property of a firm run by leading statutory notices campaigner Gordon Murdie.
We told yesterday how Mr Murdie faces seeing his company liquidated over failure to pay for its share of emergency repairs carried out after the 2013 fire.
Robert Hyder, secretary at Corstorphine Public Hall Company, said: “The £700,000 would be for the first phase, so we can get the building up and in use.
“Then we would need more money to re-equip it in a suitable form. We would like to go a lot further. We want to refurbish it inside so it would be suitable for a larger number of users who we understand are out there wanting to come in.
“There were at least 500 people who were using the hall on a regular basis previously. They are suffering [as a result of the fire].”
The Lord Provost said: “The fire completely destroyed the hall and devastated the local community. For decades it was such an important place for people to come together and I’m glad to lend my support towards the fundraising drive. We’re hopeful the funds will enable the community to complete the restoration of the building with facilities fit for the 21st century.”
The CPH building is in the Corstorphine Conservation Area and began life as a public hall in 1892. Since 1980, it has operated as the Corstorphine Youth and Community Centre.
The library section, funded by Andrew Carnegie, was added in 1903 and it is understood this is where the 2013 fire started.