Edinburgh's Corstorphine community centre set to move into new home

Corstorphine community centre – which lost its home in a devastating fire nine years ago – is set to move into the building it hopes will become its permanent new base.

By Ian Swanson
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 12:39 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Councillors are expected to approve renting Westfield House to the centre for a peppercorn rent while a community asset transfer of the property is negotiated.

Since the fire which destroyed Corstorphine public hall in Kirk Loan in 2013, the community centre has had a temporary base at 191 St John's Road, but the lease runs out next week.

And although the transfer of the former council offices at Westfield House, also in Kirk Loan, to community ownership is still being processed, it is now proposed the centre moves in and rents the property for £1 per year until the longer-term future is settled.

The council's finance and resources committee is expected to agree the move on Thursday.

The community centre management committee originally wanted to rebuild the public hall but was unable to secure funding from either the National Lottery or the city council and is instead developing plans to adapt Westfield House to become a community centre able to meet local needs.

The centre is expected to pay the market value for Westfield House when it takes over ownership under the community asset transfer, and is seeking funding for the purchase and future investment from the Scottish Land Fund.

Corstorphine public hall was destroyed by fire in 2013.

The public hall site is also up for sale as a redevelopment opportunity and the latest update says it is under offer. The management committee also says money previously raised for the rebuild of Kirk Loan will be used to help develop the new community centre.

A report for Thursday’s committee says the centre approached the council to explore the potential of taking a short-term lease of the property in order to continue to provide services to the local community. "This would be a temporary arrangement while the CAT process continues and will eventually be replaced by the sale of the property to CCC through the CAT process."

The report also says the short-term lease would save the council £115,000 a year in rates, standing utilities charges and security costs on the empty building.