The Forest collective has pledged not just to keep the Forest alive, but to use the current premises’ sale as a means to transform the organisation. In late May the “For Sale” sign over the entrance to the building in Bristo Place was removed and the Forest was told a buyer was found for their current premises. The sale has is not complete yet, but sources say the missives should be concluded soon. Despite this, the Forest is determined to still provide an arts space in Edinburgh that is free and accessible to all.
While there is still a possibility that the Forest may stay at its current location beyond 31 August, the arts centre has begun the search for a possible new location. The Forest has not yet heard from the as yet unindentified buyer about their intentions towards the building. Despite requests via Pricewaterhouse Cooper, EUS’s administrators, to discuss the buyer’s plans for the building, the Forest has yet to hear anything back. In the meantime, all events set throughout the summer, including the award-winning Forest Fringe, will be held as normal.
Harry Giles, the Forest’s Fundraising Officer, said:
“This is an opportunity to run an even more amazing free arts space, so there’s no better time for people to get involved with The Forest. The collective welcomes people to help and actively decide Forest’s future by finding a new premises. This is a chance to develop new arts projects.”
Ryan Van Winkle, long-term Forest volunteer and Reader in Residence at the Scottish Poetry Library, said:
“We’ve moved before and thanks to both the financial and moral generosity of somany people we’re in a great position to find a suitable and awesome location. While it won’t be the same Forest we’ve come to know and love, change is an opportunity. Also, change is the opposite of death.”
People can help support the Forest by volunteering their time or services to help find a new premises. The organisation is looking for a suitable vacant location to become the Forest’s new home, as well as people with the skills and qualifications to evaluate any property.
When a new location is found, volunteers will be needed to help refurbish and redecorate it. You can also help by joining the campaign team. For those who don’t want to get involved but still want to help the Forest, there is the opportunity to make a monthly donation from as little as £3 per month.