It all started when it was realised that Victoria Primary School in Newhaven on the northern outskirts of Edinburgh needed to expand and the decision was taken to build a new school.

Now we’re almost three years down the line and the dream of converting the site containing the Victorian building into a brand new intergenerational centre for the whole community to enjoy, is nearing completion.

We’ve consulted with the community to find out what they want.

We’ve set up a SCIO, The Heart of Newhaven Community SCIO SCO49919 a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Constitution is here.

We have a board of trustees. We have members who will take the decisions moving into the future. See your board and consultants here.

We’ve passed the Community Asset Transfer test with Edinburgh City Council and been given permission to purchase the site. The Scottish Land fund have given us the Funds to buy the building. 


Pulsating with energy is Victoria Primary School, full of children who in 2022 moved across Lindsay Road to a new site to pursue dreams for the future.

This iconic building and its annexe deserve be an asset for the whole community of Newhaven –young and old, long-time residents and those newly moved here: everybody who wants to have a place to enjoy activities that can't yet find a space in Newhaven.  

Newhaven has a distinct identity.

Its rapidly increasing population and range of activities is crying out for a focal point to express our sense of community life, especially to help those in greatest need of care and well-being. 

The Heart of Newhaven was chosen as a name for the proposed centre, and the campaign to keep this building for the community, because:

  • it is in the centre of 'Greater Newhaven' (old and new combined)
  • because a community space for everyone is what keeps the community heart in Newhaven for the future.

Here’s more of the background

The oldest working primary school in the city,  located at the centre of a picturesque, northern district of Edinburgh, Newhaven and an important asset to the local community was no longer large enough for the growing numbers of local children.

The pupils will move to a new state-of-the-art building as soon as it is ready. There have been delays, of course, because of Covid19, but what will happen to the old building and its surroundings once it is empty?

That is where The Heart of Newhaven Community 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 began 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. This also involved creating a sustainable business plan which would enable the new hub to be financially independent.

There have been various reports on the way to backup our vision for the community. You can read the progress reports here.

When the SCIO was set up earlier this year, some of the Steering Group members became trustees and a new board has been set up to take the project forward.

Members have been flocking to join the initiative, with no joining fees but great hopes for the future.

Even although the building is not yet ours, the spirit is willing it all forward. Join us and help make the dream a reality.

Click the Heart below to sign up!


Community Consultation and the Basis for the Community Bid

These are exciting plans the whole community has worked hard to bring together. The Plan for the whole of the Victoria Primary School site includes provision for a range of community led activities including:

❤️ Café

❤️ Artists’ Studios and Exhibition Space

❤️ Rehearsal Space for the Youth Theatre and Local Choir

❤️ Men’s Shed

❤️ Shared Business Centre for Small Businesses

❤️ Heritage Suite including:

☆ Wee Museum

☆ Newhaven Museum

☆ History of Education Centre (aka Victorian Schoolroom)

❤️ An Early Years Centre in the Anchor Building including:

☆ Nursery

☆ Creche Facilities



© The Heart of Newhaven Community | SCIO SC049919 2022 | Newhaven Eh6 4HY, Edinburgh, Scotland