Gorgie City Farm: 'Credible' charities line up to take over


Several credible charities have expressed an interest in taking over one of the last urban farms in Scotland which has gone into liquidation.

Gorgie City Farm in the west of Edinburgh collapsed with the loss of 18 jobs last week.

However, City of Edinburgh Council leader, Adam McVey, said he was "exploring" options with liquidators.

He said all animals on the site, including livestock, would not be slaughtered.

Mr McVey said he had met liquidators on Tuesday.

"The assets have been secured on the site," he said. "The animals are not being slaughtered and they're not being moved either for the time being.

"There are credible charities expressing interest in taking over the farm and we're exploring these now."

Image caption,
Pigs at Gorgie Farm

A fundraising page has raised £59,000 since it was set up on Friday.

The City of Edinburgh Council has been renting the site to the farm for 40 years. It paid £6,000 a year in rent for the three-acre site in Edinburgh's Gorgie area.

It costs about £1,400 a day to run the farm.

The farm had been given a 40-year lease just two years ago but the farm's board called in liquidators on Friday.

Image caption,
There were reptiles to pet at Gorgie City Farm

A briefing sent to councillors has revealed that the council, which owns the site and funded the farm with a £109,000-a-year grant, was given only 24 hours' notice of the closure.

It said: "The farm first made council officers aware of their situation in a telephone call on 31 October and on 1 November an insolvency practitioner was appointed."

The charity gave volunteering opportunities and support to disadvantaged young people and adults.

It has had about 200,000 visitors a year since it was saved from closure in 2016 after a crowdfunding appeal raised in excess of £100,000.

MHA Henderson Loggie has been appointed to wind up the farm, which has about 50 livestock and 50 pets.

They include sheep, pigs, ducks, geese and chickens and a number of smaller animals including snakes and lizards.

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