Gorgie City Farm appeal hits £84k mark as bosses eye June completion

GORGIE City Farm has hit the £84,000 mark almost a month after the fundraising drive to save it was launched.

Saturday, 28th May 2016, 8:48 am
Updated Saturday, 28th May 2016, 11:27 am
People are being given the opportunity to name the calf which was born at Gorgie Farm. Picture: contributed

The popular attraction needs £100,000 to secure its long-term future but despite an early surge – which saw £30,000 raised in the first three days – donations have slowed down to pre-campaign levels.

However, bosses at the farm remain “optimistic” that they can hit their target by the end of June – and possibly even earlier – thanks to public generosity combined with a series of forthcoming sponsored events.

The farm is also planning a summer festival as a way of saying “thank you” to the people of Edinburgh and further afield who have made donations or taken part in fundraising.

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John Teasdale, vice-chairman of the farm, said: “Donations have slowed down but we have still got a host of fundraisers that we know about. We are very optimistic that we will reach our target through these events – both small-scale and large-scale.

“When I was originally asked when we would reach our target I said ‘hopefully one day’. But now I am much more optimistic – and I hope I am not tempting fate but I think we might make it by the end of June if not before, which is incredible.

“We are planning to stage a festival event in the farm to show our gratitude. We can’t thank people enough.”

Meanwhile, the farm has also launched a JustGiving competition in which people can pay £5 to name a calf, with the winning name picked out of a hat at a later date.

The calf was born to a heifer called Aurora at the end of last week and is one of several recent additions to the farm including two goat kids

And Joanna Cherry, SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, is taking part in the Wester Hailes 5km Fun Run alongside members of her team on June 19 to raise money for the farm.

Bosses at the Hopetoun Horse Trials from June 17-19 have also offered their support of the campaign by pledging to donate £10 to the cause for each ticket sold using the exclusive “Gorgie discount code” available from the farm.

Among the recent cash donors was a woman from the United States who used to go to the farm as a child and remembers it fondly.

Since it opened as Gorgie City Farm in 1982, tens of thousands of visitors each year have been able to experience farm life at first hand, offering inner-city youngsters a rare glimpse of rural life.

But spiralling running costs and a slump in external funding led to an urgent plea for £100,000 amid fears the attraction could close.

The farm has already entered into talks with “three major funders” which would also help to secure the farm’s long-term future.