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Workers raise £50,000 in bid to save farm from closure

Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh called in liquidators last week - but staff are fighting to save it.

Campaign: Staff want to keep the farm open. <strong>Getty Images / Google 2019</strong>
Campaign: Staff want to keep the farm open. Getty Images / Google 2019

More than £50,000 has been raised in an attempt to keep an Edinburgh farm open to the public.

Gorgie City Farm announced on Friday it was to close, with MHA Henderson Loggie appointed to wind up the site due to the “tough funding climate”.

However, Hannah Ryan, one of 23 staff members who found out they had lost their jobs, began a Go Fund Me page in an effort to save the farm.

More than 2400 donations have been made, with the current total sitting at more than £51,000.

The post on the fundraising page reads:”This farm is one of the last of it’s kind in Scotland. Edinburgh and it’s future generations cannot afford to lose Gorgie City Farm.

“Please help to save this organisation. Do it for the volunteers we support – we estimate 45% have addition (sic) learning needs and many advance into work through this experience.

“Do it for the children who learn to love animals right here at Gorgie Farm. Do it for the enrichment this Farm gives to families, especially those on a low income who can spend the day here and are not forced to pay an entry fee equivalent to a weekly food shop.

“Do it for the Edinburgh we WANT and not the Edinburgh that we have.”

There are more than 100 animals at the farm, including sheep, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and a number of smaller creatures, which will be rehomed under the liquidation plans.

The 40-year-old charity promotes environmental sustainability, community development and social inclusion by providing volunteering opportunities and support to disadvantaged young people and adults.

Gorgie City Farm has welcomed around 200,000 visitors a year since it was saved from closure in 2016 after a successful crowdfunding appeal raised in excess of £100,000.

As well as being a visitor attraction, it is also a working farm and provides assisted volunteering experience for hundreds of people each year who face barriers to employment.

In July, the Queen visited the farm, where she met volunteers and was joined on a tour by a “cheeky duck who thinks she’s a human”.

The monarch was told about little Olive’s adventures, who had been known to wander out of the farm and get on a bus.

The four-year-old bird managed to steal the show as she waddled beside the Queen who was concluding her week of royal engagements in Scotland. Olive passed away in September.

If money raised through the fundraiser cannot help save the farm, it will be donated to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

To donate to the campaign, visit the Save Gorgie Farm Go Fund Me page.

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