Appeal raises almost £30,000 in 24 hours after closure of Edinburgh's Gorgie City Farm
Public shows support for unique attraction
AN online fundraising campaign to save one of Edinburgh's most popular community attractions has raised almost £30,000 in less than 24 hours.
Liquidators were called into Gorgie City Farm on Friday and announced it was closing for good because of "a tough funding climate" with all staff being made redundant.
The farm, which has around 200,000 visitors a year and works with more than 100 volunteers, many of whom have additional learning needs, has been a favourite with families, children and others for more than 40 years. The Queen visited in July.
Staff say they had no warning of any financial crisis and many of them only learned about the closure on social media.
Three years ago, the Evening News spearheaded a £100,000 appeal campaign to keep the much-loved attraction open when it faced soaring running costs and a slump in external funding.
But by just after 2pm on Sunday members of the public had donated a total of £29,403.
On the page, Ms Ryan says: "Gorgie Farm has been part of Edinburgh's identity for the past 40 years and has overcome many challenges, sadly we now face our biggest challenge yet.
"Edinburgh and its future generation cannot afford to lose this farm especially in a time when people are becoming more and more removed from nature, having a farm within the city limits is invaluable.
"I am one of the 23 staff members who found out on 1st November that they had lost their jobs. Some found out from social media posts and others by calls from colleagues. The staff had no warning and were not given the chance to make a last minute appeal to the public earlier."
Appealing for people to give their support, she urges: "Do it for the volunteers we support - we estimate 45 per cent have addition learning needs and many advance into work through this experience. Do it for the children who learn to love animals right here at Gorgie Farm. Do it for the enrichment this Farm gives to families, especially those on a low income who can spend the day here and are not forced to pay an entry fee equivalent to a weekly food shop. Do it for the Edinburgh we WANT and not the Edinburgh that we have."
To help save Gorgie Farm, click here.