Projekt 42 is hoping to take on the former Leith Links Pavilion, but needs local authority backing before Christmas
A successful social enterprise is hoping to expand, but faces a race against time in its bid to secure new premises.
Projekt 42 is hoping to bring a disused building in Leith back into operation, creating a hub for community sports.
The charity has applied to take over the old Leith Links Pavilion – however there are fears the plans could fall through unless town planners back the bid imminently.
The organisation has heard little since filing a community asset transfer request with the City of Edinburgh Council in August and said that it only has a limited amount of time to ensure the project goes ahead.
A spokesman for Projekt 42 said: “The charity has plans to bring the area back to life. We want to rebuild the pavilion and create a space for family activities, yoga and meditation classes, and space to extend our mental health services. Our plans include partnering with the Judy Murray Foundation which will provide the support we need to launch family tennis activities and we hope to bring other activities to the space including volleyball, outdoor fitness and yoga.
“We’re a great fit for the area. All the profit we make goes back into Leith through providing training opportunities and funding towards qualifications, free and subsidised counselling, free activities for seniors, a youth fitness academy and support for people undergoing cancer treatment. Nobody personally profits from anything we do.
“We’re under a really tight deadline. If we don’t receive the support of Edinburgh council, and confirmation of their intention to complete an asset transfer by 24 December, the charity loses the funding opportunities we need to renovate the space.”
Project 42 was established in 2017 to help improve health and wellbeing in and around Leith. The gym offers classes on a pay-as-you-go basis and memberships at a base rate of £22.50 a month, however is flexible in allowing people to join even if they cannot afford to pay. Alongside help to get fit, a focus is given to ensure that members can also improve their mental wellbeing.
The gym had faced an uncertain future when it was forced to find a new home at short notice in the summer of 2018, but since then has flourished at its new home in Leith Walk.
It is understood that the land is covered by the Edinburgh Confirmation Act 1991, and hence would require a court submission to address any change of use. A private bill would also have to be petitioned to the Scottish Parliament to amend the Confirmation Act.
Councillor Alasdair Rankin, Finance and Resources Convener, said: “We’re very supportive of community asset transfers in the city. We’ve received an application from Projekt 42 for part of Leith Links. The subjects applied for are common good and there are legal hurdles we need to address first. We have a meeting set up for next week to discuss this with the project.”