I’ve just received a press release from the Forest Café, saying that a buyer for the building has been found, and that they are looking to complete the sale in the next month. The Forest’s campaign to buy the building has so far only raised £14,000, so it seems that their only hope is to to object to plans to develop the building when they are presented – though, as yet, they do not know who the purchaser is, or what their plans are.
Supporters can sign an e-petition in support of the campaign here, and are able to donate to the charity through their website at www.theforest.org.uk.
Here’s the press release.
“The Forest arts and community centre is stepping up the campaign to save its home of 7 years amid the news that a buyer for its building has been found. The volunteer-run events and education charity, which also operates a thriving vegetarian café, is one of Edinburgh’s last remaining open-access multi-arts venues, and its future is threatened by the potential sale of the building at 3 Bristo Place.
Following the bankruptcy of the Forest’s former landlords, the Edinburgh University Settlement, in October, the charity has been running a high-profile fundraising campaign to buy its building, a former church. But now the building’s estate agents, Graham & Sibbald, have informed the Forest that a buyer for the building has been found and that the sale is due to be completed over the next month.
“The buyers haven’t been in touch with us themselves, so we don’t know who they are or what their intentions for the Forest are – but if they’re expecting us to pack up and leave quietly, they’re mistaken,” said Sean Hammond, a long-time Forest volunteer. “Potential buyers should remember that last time we had a big scare, when Eidyn Architects wanted to turn the building into private flats, objection letters from around the world forced them to withdraw.”
There’s been a huge outpouring of public support for the campaign, including widespread media coverage, letters from MPs, and regular fundraising events run for us by local arts organisations,” Sean Hammond continued. “We’ve raised a massive ￡14,000 in just three months, and we know that there’s a strong will in the local community for us to continue doing our work in this beautiful building.”