Edinburgh's council leader says 'credible charities' interested in taking over Gorgie City Farm following liquidation

Hopes that much-loved attraction can have new future

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 6:00 am
The farm attracted 200,000 visitors a year - including the Queen in July.
The farm attracted 200,000 visitors a year - including the Queen in July.

SIGNS of hope that Edinburgh’s much-loved city farm could be saved emerged today as council leader Adam McVey said “credible charities” were interested in taking it over.

Gorgie City Farm, which had 23 staff, welcomed 200,000 visitors a year and offered a safe place to volunteers with additional learning needs, called in liquidators without warning on Friday last week. Some staff only found they had lost their jobs via social media.

There has been huge sadness at the closure and a GoFundMe page set up by former staff has raised over £58,000 since the weekend to try to relaunch the farm.

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The liquidator confirmed there have been "approaches from a number of parties" about the future of the farm.

A couple of workers have stayed on to feed the livestock.

After meeting the liquidator yesterday Cllr McVey tweeted to reassure people the animals were not being slaughtered and were being kept on site for the time being.

He added: “Assets are secured on-site. There are credible charities expressing interest in taking over the farm and we’re exploring these now.”

In a statement after the meeting, liquidator Shona Campbell of MHA Henderson Loggie confirmed the interest.

She said: “It was clear from our meeting that I have the full support of the council, as Gorgie City Farm landlord, to explore options with organisations that come forward with an interest in taking on the responsibilities of running the farm.

“I have had approaches already from a number of parties and will now be implementing a formal process. The farm animals and assets will remain on site as this process is carried out.

“My role is to realise the assets for the benefits of creditors, ensure staff receive all of their entitlements, and to safeguard the welfare of the animals.

“The council has confirmed that they will not enter into discussions with developers and that their preferred option is for it continue running as a farm. Any organisation interested in taking over the business and assets of the company should get in touch.”

Ex-employee Hannah Ryan said the former staff did not know which charities had expressed an interest. But she said it was “amazing news”.

And she said: “If they follow the same ethos as Gorgie City Farm did, we would absolutely welcome that.”

Ms said the liquidators had told them they could no longer use the name Gorgie City Farm, but they hoped the site could be used for a similar venture which could be called Edinburgh Community Farm.