The tickets were sold out and it was full house with people of all ages attending. It was a brilliant evening of entertainment, including fantastic local music, stand up, ballet, and a powerful and very funny play about John Muir (‘A play called Wanda’) written for this event by the organiser of the cabaret, Shauna Macdonald, and performed by the amazing Cal MacAninch and the equally outstanding Larah Bross.
The Cabaret raised over £1,750 for the campaign, and most importantly over 25 people signed up to be responsible for gathering signatures of support from people on their street (or on another street) to petition the Scottish Government to make Portobello the first urban community to be granted the Community Right to Buy in relation to Bellfield.
What we now need are another 20 people willing to take on another street. We are trying to reach all of the several thousand households in Portobello and need a minimum of 15% support from the community. Contact Mary Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to help. For those already signed up to seek support, a leaflet will soon be available to leave with households, Mary will send out information on how to get hold of these as soon as the leaflet is available.
Meanwhile we have secured £16,315 from the Scottish Land Fund for the Stage One work, and have just sent out the tender brief so that we can appoint consultants to carry out the options appraisal and feasibility study needed to develop a business case for how to use the buildings in a way that meets the community’s needs and is financially viable.
The population of Portobello is expanding every year, yet the spaces for the community to meet in are vanishing. This needs to be addressed head on or a dynamic community will lose much of what enables it to be a community. The fantastic locally made cabaret on Sunday night, and the willingness of people to throw themselves into helping save this vital resource, shows that we’re going to give this our best shot.