A new operator has been signed up for Gorgie City Farm.

LOVE learning, a mental health charity, has convinced the Liquidator Shona Campbell of MHA Henderson Loggie working alongside the city council that they are best equipped to run the well-loved community asset.

They took over from today to care for the animals who are still living there and hope to open their doors to the public in a month or so.

CEO of LOVE learning Lynn Bell is very excited at the prospect. She told The Edinburgh Reporter : “What we actually do is create opportunities for vulnerable people. And we do that through learning, education and employability. A lot of the people we support have additional support needs. It might be autism, they may have mental health issues, but ultimately it’s about creating opportunities. A place like Gorgie just provides a sanctuary almost, a place that they can come and get involved in the environment, or animal therapy and they can relax.

“We are going to invite everyone from the community in in two weeks time, to give us their views on Gorgie – what they would like us to keep, what they’d like us to change. Then we hope our gates will be opening in a month’s time.

“Not only will the farm remain open seven days a week and remain free, but we will provide a range of exciting education, environmental and social care programmes supporting vulnerable children and adults.

“This will include learning programmes within a newly-established skills academy, social prescribing, animal therapy and employability projects.

“In addition, our educational centre will engage with local communities on environmental programmes around farming and food production and our intention is to have a food bank and social enterprise café. It will be a real community hub.

“We would like to commend the massive community support and fully recognise the love there clearly is for Gorgie City Farm. We cannot wait to get in and to work with the Council and other key stakeholders to get it up and running.”

Shona Campbell of MHA Henderson Loggie with Council Leader Adam McVey and Lynn Bell of LOVE learning

Ms Campbell said this was absolutely the best fit for the farm. She said : “The stars aligned on this one. Not only was it the best financial deal but also in terms of the ethos that the farm previously had I think what LOVE does embodies a lot of that, so it ticks both those boxes.”

Shona Campbell left and Lynn Bell right who sealed a deal today. PHOTO © 2020 The Edinburgh Reporter