We are delighted to be able to announce that we have received approval to proceed with the purchase of St Oswald’s Hall. This is a huge step forward but there remains a mountain to climb ! The full press release is below for your information.

City of Edinburgh Council approves community purchase of former Boroughmuir school annexe

The City of Edinburgh Council yesterday approved the community asset transfer of St. Oswald’s Church and Hall in Bruntsfield to community organisation Bruntsfield St. Oswald’s (Ltd) under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

The plans, which have been under development for the last two years, are supported by local Councillors, the Scottish Land Fund and the Community Ownership Support Service. Bruntsfield St. Oswald’s intends to develop the Church and Hall – which was previously the annexe for Boroughmuir High School – into a community hub focused on delivering much-needed wrap-around childcare for local primary school children, extra-curricular activities for children and young people, as well as complementary services for partner, the Eric Liddell Centre.

David Urch, Chair of Bruntsfield St. Oswald’s said:

“We are delighted to gain approval to purchase St. Oswald’s. This is an exciting opportunity for our members to restore this historic building to its rightful place as a vibrant hub in the heart of our community. We have consulted extensively with local stakeholders and we are confident the services we aim to offer will be well received.

Our plans are based around the provision of much-needed childcare, creating learning and development opportunities for children, and supporting a wide range of activities and groups across the whole community. By adopting an inclusive approach, and being sensitive towards our immediate neighbours, we hope to promote social cohesion in the area. With a robust business plan, we aim to have a sustainable and enduring impact.

Given this positive news, we will immediately look to grow our membership and scale up our fundraising activities. We would welcome support on both fronts and encourage local people and businesses to get involved in making St. Oswald’s a success for all.”

Adam McVey, Council Leader, said:

“This fantastic project will breathe new life into this old school building and is a great example of how we can support local communities to provide valuable services for local families, the elderly and carers in their own area. This is very much needed as all local communities are struggling to adapt to a ‘new normal’ due to COVID and I’m really looking forward to finding out how this project flourishes and grows in future years. I’d also like to pay tribute to the fantastic dedication of local people in taking in taking this initiative forward.

“It’s so important that we give local people a say on the facilities they need for their area and this project is one of three community asset transfers approved by the Council today.”

The legal process to effect transfer of ownership is expected to take around six months with the building expected to open to the public in 2022 after a period of extensive refurbishment.