Raeburn Place development gains charitable status

Posted on 05/05/2014 by


Raeburn Place sketch

The controversial redevelopment of Edinburgh Accies’ Raeburn Place home has received a boost with news that the project has received charitable status. However campaigners are urging the club to work with the local community to make the project a success.

In a statement,  the organisation set up to progress the development said: ‘We are delighted to announce that The Raeburn Place Foundation (RPF) was officially registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) on Friday 25 April 2014. This is a major milestone for the Project. The Raeburn Place Foundation will build and operate the new facilities.’

Former Scotland rugby captain David Sole OBE said: “”As the Honorary Life President of the Edinburgh Academical Football Club, I am delighted that The Raeburn Place Foundation (RPF) has been granted charitable status (OSCR). I hope this will now facilitate the development, thereby helping shape the future of rugby and sport at Raeburn Place”.

The news has also been welcomed by Scottish Rugby. Chief Executive Mark said: “Congratulations to The Raeburn Place Foundation (RPF) which has been awarded charitable status by OSCR. This is a major step in securing the much needed upgrade in facilities required at Raeburn Place.

“Scottish Rugby recognises that improved facilities will help increase and attract players of all ages, both male and female, into the game, and indeed sport in general. This will also make for a more enjoyable spectator experience, leading to an increase in match attendance, thereby also helping to sustain the club game.

“It is befitting that the home of the first international will also be the location for a museum celebrating the international game”.

Local campaigners Save Stockbridge opposed the redevelopment and met last week to discuss the next steps in their fight against the scale of the Raeburn Place plans. A spokesperson for the group said: 

“We continue to be well supported with over 80 people in attendance. Supporters were updated on the critical issue of ownership of the 6 foot strip along Comely Bank Road, where the wall currently stands. Until ownership of this strip has been established, CEC will not issue final written planning approval, therefore the development may not move forward.

“Although opponents of this development, Save Stockbridge has always supported the presence of rugby on the Academicals ground. We acknowledge their need for better facilities and a good income stream to support the continued health of this historic club.

“We therefore asked Dr James Simpson to share some alternative proposals that he had been working on with the supporters. We believe there is an opportunity to develop facilities and commercial (not retail), possibly also residential, property along Portgower Place. Those present were really interested and put forward other positive suggestions.

“We would be delighted to work with the developers and share our suggestions. Sadly, this has never been encouraged despite several offers from Dr Simpson in the past.

“Regarding the award of charitable status to the Raeburn Place Development, we are aware that after initial difficulties this has now been granted. Our understanding is that the development had been having difficulty raising the necessary funds, this award will go a long way to helping them raise the necessary finance.

“To that end, it is not good news for Save Stockbridge with regards the current proposed development. However, if (as outlined above) the developers would listen to our alternative proposals and work with us, we would be delighted that they had achieved charitable status to raise funds for the mutually agreed benefit of rugby in Stockbridge.”