Global Resurgence of Community Lands – from Kenya to Scotland “What has the law ever done for us?”

7.30pm, Monday 13th August 2018

Portobello’s Old Parish Church, Bellfield Street: the first successful Urban Community buy out in Scotland

Two talks, with a very brief film – Is community ownership the route to a viable future?

 –   Milka Chepkorir, a Sengwer community activist from Kenya, on her community’s attempts to secure a win-win for the community and conservation, and to stop the state burning their homes and evicting them from their lands, including through trying to use Kenya’s 2016 Community Land Act.

–    Justin Kenrick, Chair of Action Porty, on the community’s campaign to secure Bellfield, and Portobello’s ongoing attempt to secure a win-win for the community and Edinburgh Council at the Pitz/ Westbank site, including our use of the 2016 Land Reform Act and the 2015 Community Empowerment Act.

[This event was filmed, for a series of videos being made about Community Land Week, for the Scottish Government]

Bellfield is back in business

Thanks to everyone who came to Bellfield’s Back last weekend. We couldn’t have hoped for a better turn out and it was truly inspiring to see the building animated with community spirit once again. The free afternoon event saw a mix of activities from live music to capoeira taster sessions to face-painting; while the evening cabaret was a sell-out smash featuring dance, comedy and a spine-tingling finale in the ceremonial hall, complete with a chance to hear the organ.

Now Bellfield is officially open again a variety of local groups are using the space. We’re in the process of adding listings to our website but in the meantime if you have a group or are thinking of  staging an event and would like to hire Bellfield please contact us at

Your next chance to support Bellfield’s revival, and have some fun in the process, is to come along to our fundraising Silent Disco on Saturday 21 July, hosted by Edinburgh’s Silent Adventures. Don some headphones and boogie all the way to the beach on a bespoke tour adapted for families so that little legs and buggies can join the party – all for just £7.50. Tickets Are available here 

Bellfield’s Back 23 June

Bellfield is re-opening and it’s time to party! Join us to celebrate the return of Bellfield as a community resource for Portobello on Saturday 23 June 2018.

Starting in the afternoon, there will be lots going on from piping, folk singing and story-telling, to have-a-go Capoeira and dancing sessions. Soup and sandwiches will be on offer from local foodies Green Kilt. The afternoon event is free and open to all ages – just drop by.

In the evening we’ll dim the lights and enjoy a rich spread of cabaret acts, including Dance Ihayami, Spanish/Scottish music collective Gallo Rojo, comic Keir McAllister and Edinburgh’s Russian Choir. The Skylark will be running the bar, and Green Kilt will be roasting up a BBQ feast.

*** Sorry folks – evening cabaret is now sold out ***

Please note – after 9pm at the cabaret some content may be unsuitable for children.

Bellfield’s Back – with a bang!

Saturday 23 June 2018
2-5pm – FREE family activities and demos (no need to book)
7-11pm – Cabaret
Food | Dancing | Comedy | Singing | Drama | Story-telling | Magic
Bar by The Skylark and catering by Smokin’ Bros
*** Sorry folks – evening cabaret is now sold out ***

Full line up:

Afternoon 2-5pm (free, no need to book)
Gareth Simpson
Busking Sharks
Einstein’s Wardrobe
Brass Blast with DJ Dynamite
Ashley Grandson and Partner
Iris Howitt
Mrs Mash
Euan Johnstone
Barbara Jones
Emma Hardie (Capoeira taster)
Dance Ihayami (Family taster)
Portobello Time Bank
Edinburgh Tool Library
Edinburgh Community Food
Tribe Porty Youth Theatre

Evening Cabaret 7-11pm (tickets £12/£6 book in advance)
Dance Ihayami
Shunpike Social Club
Gallo Rojo
Jed and Jo
Ann Louise story tellin
William Douglas
House Band
Keir McAllister
Portobello Community Choir
Russian Choir

Image: Jon Davey Photography