❤️ Important Announcement ❤️

The City of Edinburgh Council has officially approved the Application by

The Heart of Newhaven Community SCIO SC049919

for the acquisition of Victoria Primary School by Community Asset Transfer (CAT)

WEVE DONE IT!

The City of Edinburgh Council has officially approved our application to buy Victoria Primary School and the necessary contract is about to be drawn up for the whole site to be owned by our registered charity on behalf of the Newhaven Community. I hope we’ve got to you first with this wonderful news, but the speed of the modern media bandwagon is such that you may well have heard this somewhere else already! However the news is still wonderful. The contract with CEC will happen no later than 31st March 2021, and will include a clause providing lease-back to the Council until the new school being built in Western Harbour is ready for occupation.

When we take possession of this “Asset”, the Anchor Building will primarily house assessed and much needed nursery care and the whole site developed according to the imaginative plans of The Heart of Newhaven Community that have now been approved.These include the layout of the Victorian Building to house a comprehensive heritage suite in which we hope Newhaven Heritage and other organisations devoted to interpreting local history will have a share and include a Victorian Schoolroom and Wee Museum.

At the beginning of last year we launched The Heart of Newhaven Community when it was clear that a wish to turn the school into an enhanced museum did not qualify to meet Council requirements for such a transfer. The Council looked for an organisation that would represent the interests of what is technically called “the area of benefit”, which embraces the increasing population of Newhaven far greater than the traditional village: we know how big because we have delivered over 7,000 postcards to every household and business.

The Council is required to address many social needs, from the youngest to the oldest and including the marginalised. From the outset we consulted widely and produced a Business Plan with local partners, organisations and charities, to help meet the Council’s obligatory targets.

In the last Update I indicated that the Councillors representing the Wards in our catchment area unanimously approved our plans and recommended to the Policy and Sustainability Committee that our Application be approved. That was done at a meeting held on 20thAugust.

Well done and thank you everyone for helping get this Application across the line.


 

Scottish Land Fund

The next stage, for which we are prepared, is to apply to the Scottish Land Fund for a major grant to help our capital commitment. SLF has already awarded funding that enabled us to employ a professional Business Consultant, SKS Scotland, to draw up a Business Plan that would be sustainable even in the event of the kind of challenge we are now meeting because of Covid 19. We have now demonstrated that our figures are still viable over the next five years. But the SLF also need to know that what we are proposing is supported not merely by key interest groups but by the whole community across the entire “area of benefit”.

That is why it is important to increase the number of people prepared to sign up to say, “Yes please, this is what we need for the future”. The key is the development of a vibrant Community Hub, or as we put it, the beating Heart of Newhaven Community.

Please keep building up numbers by spreading the word of success, developing plans for a Better Normal with an emphasis on care within the community leading to the Well-being of all, and especially those most in need. And continue to volunteer your own services – some particular expertise or flair, a bit of time, an idea you think will help, either now or at some stage in the future as plans develop. This is your Community. You are included.

The first task is accomplished and the next beginning.

The show is on the road. It will be as good as you make it.

Rodney Matthews

Chair and Vision Facilitator,

the Heart of Newhaven Community

 

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