The ailing Gorgie City Farm was thrown a lifeline at the weekend as it was revealed that 10 interested parties have expressed interest in taking over the enterprise.
However, the farm is far from safe with officials stating that it could be several weeks before the venture’s future is secure.
Lothian MSP, Sarah Boyack, said, “Whilst this news is very welcome, it does not go far enough to address the pressing needs of the farm. What resources are being made available to support the two staff members who currently keep the farm running? There are also a number of other concerns such as animal welfare issues and insurance costs to consider.”
Ms Boyack stated that more answers are needed before a bidder is chosen to run the farm.
“Not only do we need to understand what went wrong with the last business model, we need to know the nature of the new proposals and how they will guarantee that financial mismanagement is avoided in the future.”
With a target of £100,000, crowdfunding efforts, led by farm worker Hannah Ryan, have raised a substantial £71,000, much of which will go towards current outlays. However, the costs of running the farm means the cash has limited reach.
Ms Boyack added, “Two former employees of Gorgie City Farm staff are having to work hard for no reward and will live with ongoing uncertainty until a preferred bidder has been approved. This is unforgiveable, especially in the run-up to Christmas, yet no tangible support has been offered. Measures must be taken to support the staff whilst this transition takes place and new management steps in.
“I once again ask for reassurances that resources will be made available in the interim period, and I urge the council to do all it can to offer more transparency and deliver some measure of certainty as the bidding process continues.”