As new operator for the community farm, the charity LOVE learning has confirmed it will remain free and open seven days a week
- Following a search by liquidators MHA Henderson Loggie, education and social care charity LOVE learning named as new operator for shuttered community farm
- LOVE learning CEO Lynn Bell has previously committed to preserving all of the farm’s animals
- Renamed LOVE Gorgie, the farm will have a food bank and social enterprise café
THE SITE of Gorgie City Farm, the beloved Edinburgh community institution which went liquidation in November 2019, will be taken over by the social care and education charity LOVE learning, it has been announced.
Since its unexpected closure last year, which resulted in the loss of 18 jobs, there has been an outpouring of support from local residents for the farm, which has been a popular attraction in the capital for over four decades. A crowdfunder in support of the farm raised over £100,000.
Following a search for a new operator conducted on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, liquidator Shona Campbell of MHA Henderson Loggie said in a press statement: “I am pleased to have secured such a positive outcome for Gorgie City Farm.
“As well as financial security we were looking for an operator with the vision and experience to breathe new life into the site and uphold the values treasured by the community.
“As liquidator I have been responsible for the continuing welfare of the animals on site throughout the search period and I am very grateful to the retained staff for all their support. I wish Love Learning every success for the future.”
It has also been reported that, once reopened, the site will be renamed LOVE Gorgie.
Lynn Bell, CEO of LOVE learning said: “We are incredibly excited to be taking on such a treasured resource as Gorgie City Farm. At LOVE learning we seek to improve the education and life chances of vulnerable children, young people and adults, as well as their families.
“Not only will the farm remain open seven days a week and remain free, but we will provide a range of exciting education, environmental and social care programmes supporting vulnerable children and adults.
“This will include learning programmes within a newly-established skills academy, social prescribing, animal therapy and employability projects.
“In addition, our educational centre will engage with local communities on environmental programmes around farming and food production and our intention is to have a food bank and social enterprise café. It will be a real community hub.
“We would like to commend the massive community support and fully recognise the love there clearly is for Gorgie City Farm. We cannot wait to get in and to work with the Council and other key stakeholders to get it up and running.”
Speaking to CommonSpace prior to the announcement, Bell said that, should LOVE learning be chosen as the site’s new operator, it would commit to preserving all of the animals currently on the farm.
Council Leader Adam McVey commented: “I’m delighted that there has been such a successful outcome for the future of this much-loved community asset. LOVE learning’s proposal meets the community’s aspirations for what continues on the site – free for families to visit, open seven days a week and supporting and providing opportunities for vulnerable young people and adults. It buys into the values of volunteering, education, farming, supporting everyone in our communities as well as providing a sustainable and financially secure future for the site.
“When the farm closed in November, I know many people worried this would be the end of such a unique venue. However, I’ve been hugely grateful for the outpouring of support and for everyone who has rallied round to get the farm back for our city.
“I would like to put on record my thanks for all the hard work Shona and her team have put in over the past few months to reaching this great outcome. We’re really looking forward to working with Love Learning in providing a fantastic facility for everyone to enjoy.”
Picture courtesy of Raffsid