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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Future for Edinburgh urban farm outlined

This news post is about 1 year old

The Gorgie Farm site has been closed since earlier this year following funding issues.

One of Edinburgh’s leading third and voluntary sector organisations is set to lead the drive to find a sustainable community led future for the Gorgie City Farm site.

Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council (EVOC) has agreed to manage a community-led project to find a possible solution, following discussions with the City of Edinburgh Council after the closure of the site last month.

EVOC is one of three partners that make up Edinburgh’s TSI (Third Sector Interface), helping to support and develop the city’s community and voluntary sector, with a role to develop robust solutions and approaches that underpin strong organisations.

Their role will not be to run the farm, but to work with the local community, and all stakeholders. 

This will result in a stronger plan for Gorgie City Farm to re-open, with a strong sustainable plan for the future.

Bridie Ashrowan, chief executive of EVOC, said: “We understand that Gorgie City Farm is very important to the Gorgie and the wider Edinburgh community, the many people who have visited, volunteered or worked there, and the City of Edinburgh Council.

“EVOC has a long history of supporting community and voluntary organisations, helping them to get established, to grow and assess how to develop, and being the honest broker, to focus minds on the task ahead. 

“We are committed to taking a community led approach to this project, learning from other successful collaborations in the City.

“We have no vested interest in the future of the Gorgie Farm site and will step back if and when a community led partnership has been established, through the work of the steering group. This will lay the ground work for Gorgie Farm site having a fighting chance of long term viability.”

The first step will be for EVOC to bring together a Steering Group - expected to include representatives from the local voluntary sector, campaign groups, the local community and the Council - to work on identifying proposals that could secure its future.  

The partnership Steering Group will start from the principle that it will bring together city experts in key respective fields, to support local volunteering through to organisations who have social enterprise aspirations, and connect these together.

Council leader Cammy Day said: “I’m delighted we’ve got EVOC on board for the Gorgie City Farm site as they have a proven track record in supporting local organisations that need expert advice. At the heart of the work they will be taking forward are options for a community led, collaborative and financially sustainable future for the site.

“I want to thank everyone who has been working so hard both publicly and behind the scenes to find a solution. The work by the campaign groups, volunteers and other partners has been really impressive and shows the strength of feeling towards this valuable community asset which benefits all communities across the city.

“I’m sure the coming months will be exciting times as EVOC brings people, groups and organisations together to look at options for a sustainable future for the Gorgie City Farm site.  I look forward to them presenting a sustainable vision for the future of Gorgie City Farm to the local community soon so everyone in the city can enjoy all it has to offer for years to come.”