JUST a few months ago it seemed Gorgie City Farm was facing a very different future.
With spiralling costs and a cut in funding there were even warnings that the much-loved attraction would have to close its doors for good.
A massive fundraising campaign enthusiastically supported by Evening News readers changed all that of course and today we have news that its future is well and truly secure.
A £150,000 Big Lottery grant will enable the farm to stop firefighting and once again look to develop the attraction for future generations to enjoy.
There are already big plans for the future including housing more native breeds to tells the history of farming in Scotland and an expanded educational programme for children and adults.
It’s all great to see.
As the response to the original appeal showed, Gorgie City Farm is one of the city’s unsung gems. It doesn’t enjoy the profile perhaps of the Capital’s big attractions but its work in educating city schoolchildren, giving them hands-on experience of country life and animals is invaluable.
In these times of straitened public funding, organisations like these are often the first to suffer but their value to life of the city is repaid many, many times over.
And it’s not just the farm which is benefiting today. In total organisations in Edinburgh and the Lothians have been awarded more than £1 million. The Edinburgh Cyrenians received almost £500,000 to continue its work with young homeless people while the Community Alliance Trust Limited received an award of £149,916 to bring three housing estates in Craigmillar together through a community gardening and healthy eating project. These are all projects which are filling the gap in council services, picking up the strain and transforming quality of life for many city residents. Congratulations to them all and keep up the good work.