Back by popular demand – a 20 day Update 

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Victoria Primary School is moving!

That’s how it all started. The oldest working primary school in the city and an important asset to the local community is no longer large enough for the growing numbers of local children.

The building is located at the centre of a picturesque, northern district of Edinburgh, Newhaven, and will be vacated as the pupils move to a new state-of-the-art building as soon as it is ready.

But what will happen to the building once it is empty?

Photographs by Lesley Walpole March 2020

That is where the Heart of Newhaven comes in. After several public meetings, large numbers of people agreed that it should be saved for use by the local community and it was also agreed that what this area needs, especially with its current rapid growth, is a community hub, a heart which will bring everyone together, which will provide a safe and inclusive place for people to meet, learn and develop.

The Heart of Newhaven Steering Group  was duly constituted by these public meetings and has been working on using the Community Asset Transfer system (CAT) to purchase the building from the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC), but only after a huge consultation exercise involving all sorts of potential users, including individuals, charities, organisations and businesses. Constitution here

You can read all about that HERE. This also involved creating a sustainable business plan which would enable the new hub to be financially independent.

The business plan was prepared with professional help and the CAT application has now been validated by CEC and we await results, but we already know what the community wants.


Here are some of the ideas:

An Early Years Centre in the Anchor Building including

● Nursery

● Creche facilities

● Café

● Artists’ Studios and exhibition space

● Rehearsal space for the Youth Theatre and local Choir

● Heritage Suite including

       ● Wee Museum

       ● Newhaven Museum

       ● History of Education Centre ( aka Victorian Schoolroom)

● Men’s Shed

● Shared Business Centre for small businesses


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What Can I Do?

1.   Have a handful of copies of the registration form (download and pen handy

2.   Knock on the door of your next door neighbour. Talk to your friends and colleagues and share your enthusiasm.

3.   Have forms handy when meeting friends.

4.   Forward or share the the link with your friends, family and on social groups.

5.   Explain that all that is necessary is a name, email address or address and signature.

6.   It costs nothing and the contact is protected by Data Protection Regulations

7.   Ask if they know people (do you?) who might miss out because they are always "the forgotten". Think hard about that one. It's the people we forget we need to remember.  

8.   Encourage anyone who has a bright idea of what our heart should include if it is going to be a hub of creative activity. Tell us! Why has no one suggested Newhaven needs public toilets? Add obvious things to the list. What/who else should be included.?

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© Copyright The Heart of Newhaven 2020