Gorgie City Farm fundraiser gets £20k donation from mystery benefactor as total nears £100k target

The campaign to save the site of the former Gorgie City Farm has been bolstered by a £20,000 donation from a mystery benefactor, bringing the fundraising total close to the £100,000 target.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 2:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 2:33 pm

The much-loved city farm went into liquidation on November 1st with a total of 18 jobs lost.

But a GoFundMe appeal was launched soon after by former employee Hannah Ryan, who told the Evening News previously she had been "overwhelmed" by the public support and donations in the first few days. And in a social media post on Wednesday, the Edinburgh Community Farm, a group set up by former employees of Gorgie City Farm, said they now have more than £92,600 in the pot.

On twitter the group said: "This morning an anonymous person donated £20,000. Who knew 18 days ago that we could be so strong together?

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Gail Vancker (left) and Hannah Ryan (top right), started the GoFundMe page.
Gail Vancker (left) and Hannah Ryan (top right), started the GoFundMe page.

"We can now add 92,665 MORE reasons to our list of why this farm is so important to the community. I want you to take a pause & really stop to reflect on this incredible achievement. 3,227 people donated (that's an average donation of £22 before the 20K donation!!)."

The post said more than 11,000 people have shared the GoFundMe page with hundreds of thousands of people spreading the word to help.

The post went on: "Without this support who knows if the site would have had a future.

"What I will stand by is that you made this happen. The wonderful people of Edinburgh. Every like, every tweet, every donation, every word, every damn day for 19 days. Stop & realise that you, the people of Edinburgh, have made everyone take note of GCF's importance.

"Finally, to the people who have been made redundant during the hardest time of the year, including myself. Rest, be thankful for the people of Edinburgh have our backs."

The group also said they have been contacted by people from Australia to Ireland who have donated and shared the fundraising page.

The GoFundMe page states that while the Gorgie City Farm organisation can not be saved they can still work towards securing a future venture under a different name.

The page states that if the money raised can not be used to help secure a similar future to that of Gorgie City Farm, the money will be donated between Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

Gorgie City Farm closure

Edinburgh's Gorgie City Farm went into liquidation on November 1st.

The popular visitor attraction, which welcomed about 200,000 people a year, was home to a variety of animals including sheep, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and a number of smaller animals.

The Evening News spearheaded a £100,000 appeal campaign to keep the popular attraction open three years ago when it faced soaring running costs and a slump in external funding.

The farm has attracted visitors for more than 40 years but financial struggles in recent times has led to the closure of the site’s cafe.

Following the liquidation, it was announced that falling revenues due to decline in external funding, and rising costs, made it difficult for the farm to continue.

But it emerged five days ago that ten different parties - both charitable and commercial organisations - have shown interest in taking over the former farm. However, it may take many weeks before interested parties are able to submit proposals and raise the money needed to take over the running of the farm.

It is thought the farm is currently running with just two staff members to feed and take care of the animals.

Council Leader Adam McVey described the level of interest as "encouraging" and said the positive response to the crowdfunding initiative is a clear signal of just how much people across Edinburgh value the farm.