Saint Oswald’s Church and Hall in Bruntsfield now officially owned by community

A community in Edinburgh has taken ownership of a historic church in the city centre and plans to open it to the public next year following extensive refurbishment works.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 5:56 pm
St Oswald's Church and Hall in Bruntsfield picture: City of Edinburgh Council

After three years of planning, community organisation Bruntsfield St. Oswald’s (Ltd) is now officially the owner of the church and hall known as St. Oswald’s in Montpelier, Edinburgh.

With the support of a generous grant from Scottish Land Fund, members were able to purchase the property from City of Edinburgh Council in March this year under the Community Empowerment Act 2015.

The church is projected to open to the public in 2022 after a period of extensive refurbishment works.

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It will be used as a centre for delivering childcare to local primary school children and extra-curricular activities for young people in the community.

David Urch, chairman of Bruntsfield St. Oswald’s, said: “We are delighted to have brought St. Oswald’s into community ownership and would like to thank all our members and supporters, the Scottish Land Fund, the Community Ownership Support Service as well as the City of Edinburgh Council for making this possible.

"Our work now turns to transforming this historic building over the next year into a vibrant place for children, their families and our wider community to participate in a broad range of activities and events."

Councillor Rob Munn, finance and resources convener at the City of Edinburgh Council said: “As we start to move out of lockdown, it’s really encouraging to see fantastic projects like this going ahead. I’m looking forward to seeing the building brought back to life when it opens, filled with local families, the elderly and carers being offered valuable services in their local community.

“It’s so important that we give local people a say on the facilities they need for their area and this is one of four community asset transfers which are taking place over the next few weeks. Well done to the local people for making this much-needed project happen.”

The B-listed building was previously the annexe for Boroughmuir High School and was left empty when the school relocated to its canal-side site in Viewforth.

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