Learning, Eating and Exercise @ Bridgend Farmhouse The Vision Bridgend Inspiring Growth’s vision for the refurbished

farmhouse will provide a sympathetically restored building which will provide a range of different types of accommodation for the use of groups and individuals. Initial plans will reinstate the farmhouse building with a second phase adding an internal court yard on the north side of the building. A third phase will add an extension to house workshop and allotment storage space. A detailed architectural feasibility study has been produced and costed by Malcolm Fraser Architects.

Drawing courtesy of Malcolm Fraser Architects – Architectural Feasibility Study August 2013

What will the Farmhouse offer? The restored building will provide a strategic base for a number of organisations to deliver learning, provide access to cooking and healthy eating and exercise and healthy lifestyles. Imagine if you will, a place close to the city centre, accessible by bus or bicycle
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where you can come for a walk in the park- under your own steam or with a group of like-minded people having a blether and then a nice cuppa and some home baking in the farm house before heading home or staying on for a class/heritage group, a cycle round the woods on one of our hire bikes no matter what your age or ability- learn how to repair and maintain a bike at our workshops, a play in the play park followed by a picnic at the farm house or a baking party. Alternatively you could come and take part in outdoor activities in the park/woodland supported by qualified staff to teach you cycling, archery, orienteering, woodcraft, woodland maintenance, gardening, horticulture, first aid etc. Families, particularly those with little disposable income can come for a day out using the park and gain an insight into ecology and environmental issues. Learning Bridgend will become a centre for ecological and environmental education, located beside the allotments and on the edge of Craigmillar Castle Park it is currently used by a number of local primary schools as an outdoor classroom area – an on site classroom facility would enable this to be further developed in line with Curriculum for Excellence activities. At least three of the local primary schools1 responded to our community consultation carried out over the summer saying they would use such a facility. Delivery of John Muir Awards and leadership training will also be part of the offer together with outdoor education particularly cycling and walking. The accommodation will also be available for hire to other groups wishing to use it as a base or for small meetings and mini conferences. Eating Bridgend will have a community kitchen – suitable for groups to learn to cook and make food together as well as community café probably operated by volunteers2 initially offering tea/coffees etc to groups using the farmhouse. Allotment user groups will also make use of the kitchen for preparing and eating freshly grown produce. A small shop could sell surplus produce from the allotments or horticultural requisites enabling a greater knowledge and awareness of “growing your own” and what to do with t hem. Bridgend Growing Communities could extend their offer to a wider range of groups and individuals

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Niddrie Mill Primary, Liberton Primary and Prestonfield Primary I’m speak to Michael Stubbing at Skillspath about this on Thursday so we may be able to include a training café 2


Exercise Bridgend will provide a focal point for groups and individuals accessing Craigmillar Castle Park from the west, whether it is for a gentle walk, cycle or run. Exercise may also take the form of woodland maintenance and path repair either as an environmental volunteer or part of a recovery programme such as the Rowan project (see below). The park and woodland has the potential for much greater use as a productive outdoor space and a physical space such as the farmhouse could provide a starting point for developing ideas such as the mountain biking plans researched a couple of years ago, which are currently on hold due to lack of resources3.

The location Bridgend Inspiring Growth (BIG) is situated in a prime location on Old Dalkeith Road, easily accessible from the city centre by bus4 it also provides access to Craigmillar Castle Park from the west side – one of the largest green space areas in the city owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. When CEC bought the site in the early 1990 ’s it was envisaged the “Craigmillar Hill” would support the Council’s environmental objectives with a view to “guaranteeing the protection of the park for future generations to enjoy as open space and making it accessible to all members of the community in perpetuity.”5 Craigmillar Castle Park has subsequently been managed by CEC Ranger Service and it received Jubilee status in 2002 from the then Scottish Branch of the National Playing Fields Association – now Fields in Trust. A number of ideas have been proposed over that time to develop the building and its unique position to the advantage of the community but none has proved successful thus far. BIG has the potential and the opportunity to make this happen – as a community based company it is better placed than the local authority to seek funding to realise the aspiration!

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The Ranger Service carried out market research into the possibility of opening up the park for this in 2010. At least seven bus routes pass by 24, 32, 33, 38,49,79,86 5 Cap Info 22 February 2002 – Jubilee celebrations for Craigmillar Castle Park CaskieCo 3

The accommodation The farmhouse itself was originally designed as a domestic dwelling so does not offer large spaces, but it could still offer quality space in a unique location to a wide range of users. The floor plans below show how it can be fully accessible and multi-functional.

Drawing courtesy of Malcolm Fraser Architects – Architectural Feasibility Study August 2013



Sample timetable Day/Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday am pm evening
Hire for evening meetings, classes and groups Talks on ecology and environmental issues

Saturday Sunday

For use by groups such as: Carr Gomm CAPRO Bridgend Growing Communities Mental Health Groups Walking groups School/educational groups Adult education classes Cycle workshops Allotment Storage Cafe Outdoor activity groups for children and adults Themed children’s parties

Hire for social and music events, fund raisers etc