Edinburgh's Gorgie Farm: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked to help save much-loved farm
Plight of Edinburgh’s urban farm raised at First Minister’s Questions
Nicola Sturgeon has indicated she is ready to help save Edinburgh’s Gorgie Farm if there is anything “reasonable” the Scottish Government could do.
Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs used First Minister’s Questions to raise the plight of the much-loved attraction and asked Ms Sturgeon to provide emergency support for the farm, which is scheduled to close its doors on Monday.
Charity Love Learning, which has run the farm since 2020, announced on December 30 that it would be closing because of “serious financial challenges”. The charity said the project was operating at a deficit of £150,000 and so the lease of the farm would be returned to site owners Edinburgh council. Ms Sturgeon visited the farm in May 2021.
Mr Briggs said: “Gorgie City Farm, which gives volunteering opportunities to disadvantaged young people and adults, as well as providing a wonderful green play space in one of the most urban parts of the Capital is due to close on Monday. I know the First Minister will be aware of the incredible value this gives the community as she has previously visited one of Scotland’s last urban farms. Can I ask First Minister what emergency support could be made available to help keep the farm going in the interim period and will ministers agree to meet with myself, the council and local campaigners to discuss a way forward to save the farm?”
Ms Sturgeon praised the farm’s “excellent work” and said she recognised its “real value” to the community and to Scotland as a whole. “Of course if there are any reasonable steps the government could take to support a way forward we would certainly consider doing that. And I will ask the relevant minster to meet with the member, the council and representatives of the farm, if that would be helpful and appropriate, to consider any options for the future, so I will ask that that is taken forward with all due haste.”