A HISTORIC church built more than 100 years ago by the architect behind the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and McEwan Hall has been put up for sale.
The Grade A-listed Cluny Centre, on Cluny Drive in Morningside, was built in 1890 and is expected to be snapped up for more than £750,000.
Previously South Morningside Church, it was converted into community halls and meeting rooms in 1974 following the union of two neighbouring congregations.
The unique building was used as an overspill annex for South Morningside Primary School until recently and still hosts a variety of exercise, dance and play groups.
But Church of Scotland bosses insisted all those currently using the facility will be able to move to Morningside Parish Church on Braid Road.
And they said cash generated from the sale will be pumped into building an extension to the neighbouring church, with plans already submitted.
Speaking on behalf of the congregation at Morningside Parish Church, minister Rev Dr Derek Browning said: “The sale of the Cluny Centre had been planned for some years, after the local primary school announced it would not be continuing its lease of part of the centre in 2017.
“The sale of the Cluny Centre will help fund the building of proposed new hall accommodation at the Morningside Parish Church site which is already extensively used by church and community organisations and groups.
“The Church is delighted to be able to continue its support of the community, and will be seeking to accommodate groups from the Cluny Centre on the church site on Braid Road.
“The advantage of having the church facilities focused on the one site will prove a significant benefit.”
The Cluny Centre was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, who was also responsible for a number of other prestigious buildings in Scotland including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh University’s McEwan Hall and Mount Stewart House on the Isle of Bute.
Sir Robert was born in Liberton and later trained in the office of George Gilbert Scott – the architect behind the Gothic St Mary’s Cathedral in the West End and the main building of the University of Glasgow.
Morningside councillor Mark McInnes said he hoped any future use of the Cluny Centre would be “appropriate for the area”.
It is not yet known if any individual or group has expressed an interest in snapping up the property, but it is expected to attract interest from a wide variety of buyers.
Neil McAllister, a partner at Ryden, who are handling the sale, said: “It is very rare to be given the opportunity to market such a prestigious property.
“There are a variety of potential uses the building could be put to and I’m sure it will attract a lot of interest from the market.”