Blackhall Community Trust Autumn Public Meeting 2 October 7.30pm

We’re holding our next public meeting on 2 October at 7.30pm in St Columba’s Small Hall.  We’ll be updating on our progress with the community priorities identified in our community consultation.  The focus of our efforts is:

  • the acquisition of Ravelston Park Pavilion as a Community Asset Transfer from the City of Edinburgh Council. We’re proposing a Phase 1 (to acquire and operate the building as it is) and a Phase 2 (a new build which will offer community facilities and a fit for purpose space for Blackhall Nursery.)

You can view the final proposed site (Option 9!) at the meeting.

We are now fundraising. The building and land we wish to acquire have been valued at £12,500 and we have to raise 5% of that, plus legal costs. So our target is £4000.

You can donate by cheque (payable to Blackhall Community Trust, post to BCT c/o Ravelston Park Pavilion, Craigcrook Rd, EH4 3RU) or via our BT MyDonate page when it is live.

Please also do your online shopping via – register yourself, select Blackhall Community Trust as your cause and just shop through the easyfundraising website. You will raise money for BCT at no extra cost to yourself!


Blackhall Community Trust Public Meeting, Tuesday 5 June, 7.30pm, Blackhall St Columba’s Small Hall

Date for the diary: our next public meeting is on Tues 5 June 7.30pm, Blackhall St Columba’s Small Hall.
Hear the results of our community consultation into possible site options in Ravelston Park for a new Ravelston Park Pavilion.
We are also delighted to welcome Corstorphine Emergency Response’s Ryan Montgomery. Do we have defibrillators in Blackhall? Do we have people who are trained to use them? Increasingly, communities across Scotland are involved in these local emergency response activities and Ryan is a fantastic advocate of such schemes. Come along to our meeting and find out more!

Blackhall Community Trust Consultation Spring 2018

Blackhall Community Trust Public Consultation on exciting site options for Ravelston Park Pavilion in Ravelston Park!

Please participate in our community consultation on possible site options for meeting our community’s needs (identified through public consultation in 2016/17) for more early years places and a community hub in Ravelston Park Pavilion (Blackhall Nursery),  Ravelston Park.

We had a lively and well-attended AGM on 6 March with a helpful presentation from architect Malcolm Fraser on the site options and lots of questions from residents.  Many residents also completed our consultation questionnaire at Blackhall Library where the options were on display from 26 February to 10 March. There are five options:

  • Option 1 (extension to current building; however, this does not provide space for a community hub);
  • Option 2 (new build on current site; requires a decant for Blackhall Nursery);
  • Option 3 (east end of park beside wild flower garden);
  • Option 4 (in front of existing building);
  • Option 5 (on playpark; relocate playpark to existing Ravelston Park Pavilion site).

You can view the five options and share your views in the following ways:

This 942 MF Blackhall outline sketches D FINAL has measurements of the different internal spaces which may help to inform your views.

Please bear in mind that:

  • We need enough space to improve Blackhall Nursery and to create a community hub to meet identified community needs
  • We want to minimise impact on Ravelston Park and on Ravelston Park users
  • We want to minimise impact on neighbours
  • These are only outline ideas to sift possible locations and are entirely subject to the community’s response to these ideas and to planning permission and funding.

We were recently awarded a grant by the Scottish Land Fund of just over £15,000 to produce a business plan and a feasibility study of design options for Ravelston Park Pavilion. This is part of exploring a possible transfer of ownership (or a long lease) of Ravelston Park Pavilion from the City of Edinburgh Council to Blackhall Community Trust, on behalf of the Blackhall community.  After a competitive tendering process, we awarded contracts to Caskie & Co (business planning) and Malcolm Fraser Architects (design options). Malcolm’s brief is to create a small community hub and a fit-for-purpose space for Blackhall Nursery, a community-run charity.

We are delighted to share with you Malcolm Fraser’s preliminary site options and to seek your feedback.

Blackhall Community Trust: Join our email/mail list or follow us on Facebook BlackhallCT or Twitter @BlackhallCT

Email us:

Write to us: c/o Blackhall Nursery, Ravelston Park Pavilion, Craigcrook Rd Edinburgh EH4 3RU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why are there five options? 

A:  We wanted to look at all possible sites within Ravelston Park.  Local residents need to consider whether they would like a community hub.  If so, new build (Options 2, 3, 4 or 5) is the only way forward. However, we have been advised by the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Land Fund that we would have a stronger case for a community asset transfer if any proposed site had a ‘relationship’ with the existing Ravelston Park Pavilion building.  Blackhall Nursery has had three extensions with planning permission granted on its current site, so this establishes a precedent. Blackhall Nursery is a community-run nursery, a charity and a company limited by guarantee, which has been successfully operating at its current location for nearly 20 years.  It therefore has a strong track record and this track record will support a business case for revitalising Ravelston Park Pavilion and creating space for both Blackhall Nursery and the wider community.

Q: Do you have any idea of costs? 

A: Architect Malcolm Fraser and business consultancy Caskie & Co were appointed by the Blackhall Community Trust Board with funding of £15K from the Scottish Land Fund. They advise us, that when we have a shortlist of perhaps two site options, indicative costs could be provided then.  Obviously the size and complexity of each building project will vary.  For example, moving the playpark could cost c £50K.  Decanting the Nursery is also like to be very expensive.

Q: Where will the money come from to revitalise Ravelston Park Pavilion?

A: Caskie & Co will prepare a business plan for us.  This will include possible grant funds for the build project as well as revenue sources.  We are in discussions with the City of Edinburgh Council about the possibility of capital grants through Scottish Government finance allocated to delivering the 1140 hours of free early learning and childcare per child per annum for 3-5 year olds from 2020.  There are ofcourse a lot of costs with a building project – drawings for planning applications (and building warrant if planning permission is granted), accountants’ proposals to HMRC about VAT, as well as the build costs.

Q: I have an idea for how the community hub could be used.  What should I do? 

Please either share your idea via our online survey or print out the questionnaire or email us at  We are very keen to hear from either potential users or to hear ideas for activities etc that we could organise.

Q: What will happen to the current storage container? 

A: We will ofcourse consult the community again when we have more detail to share.  Ideally, we would like to include a storage facility for community groups to use as part of the building but the detailed design will have to look at this.

Q: What will the life expectancy of a new building be? 

Malcolm Fraser suggested 60 years but this would depend on the construction materials. He advocates wood which can be both health promoting and low maintenance. It is also possible that some of the build could be carried out off site and craned in. The build will endeavour to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. There are some restrictions due to the location in the park; however, it is likely to be very well insulated with an effective boiler which should be an improvement on the current building which can be quite cold due to its poor original construction.

Q: How many places for children will there be in Blackhall Nursery and will they meet all the demand?

A: There would be space for 40 children. This could be a combination of children with six-hour a day places (1140 hours, due to be delivered by 2020) and children with part-day places.  So actually, it is likely there would be places for between 40 children (if they were all taking up the six-hour option) and 80 children (if they were all taking the part-day option). Parental choice is required by Scottish Government.  Malcolm Fraser will look at the options with a view to future-proofing – he will see if there is enough land for an extension, should one ever be needed. Blackhall Nursery does not envisage that demand for places will grow as the demographics of the area are likely to level off.  The need for extra space is because of the Scottish Government’s plans for 1140 hours. Children and staff need additional space to eat and rest/have breaks.

Q: What will be the relationship of Blackhall Nursery with the building and Blackhall Community Trust?

A: Blackhall Nursery will be the main tenant.  The justification and main basis for requesting a Community Asset Transfer of the Ravelston Park Pavilion site and environs is firstly, to be able to continuing meeting the needs of the community for nursery places and also, to create a community hub suitable for meetings and small-scale activities.  Blackhall Nursery currently only operates on weekdays during the school term. It is envisaged that community groups could use the community space in evenings and weekends, although, depending on the layout and security of the building, it may be possible to access the community hub during the day too.  This will become clearer at the detailed design stage.

Q: During the build, what will happen?

A: Depending on the final choice of build option, the nursery may have to decant to another space but it is hoped that this won’t happen. Temporary forest school options could also be possible, if funding and supplementary staff are made available by the City of Edinburgh Council. If one of the new build options is selected, then it is anticipated that the nursery would continue to operate with any build site cordoned off for health and safety of both children, staff and build workers.  As much of the build as possible would be completed over the summer holidays.

Q: I am worried about additional parking. 

A: Blackhall Nursery does not expect parking to increase. Indeed, if local families choose to take up the six hour per day option, there may be fewer children than at present and less dropping off and picking up.  Blackhall Nursery currently has a morning class and an afternoon class, with up to 30 children in each class.

Q: I am not sure what to decide. Please help!

A: Come along to Blackhall Primary School on Wed 28 March 6.30-8.30pm and view the site options and chat them through with us.  Or email your questions and we will get them answered if we can and post them here!




A public meeting of Blackhall residents agrees the governance model for Blackhall Community Trust

Our third public meeting last night (4 October 2016) agreed the proposed governance structure for the setting up of Blackhall Community Trust.  We will apply to be a company limited by guarantee, and we will apply for Scottish charitable status.  Exciting times! We also held a consultation activity on ideas for community fundraising.  We were delighted to welcome Catherine Dougan of Development Trusts Association Scotland who gave a great presentation which summarised our progress to date in consulting the wider community and offered DTAS support in our next steps along the way to acquiring assets for the community to meet community needs. Our priorities are: a community hub which could offer learning opportunities for all ages; creating more early years places at Blackhall Nursery with greater flexibility for families; providing more space for recreational and sports activities for our growing community.  Please watch this space for more updates. Tina Woolnough, on behalf of the steering group