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Activities centre plan for derelict church

posted 25 Mar 2009, 06:26 by David Rintoul   [ updated 17 Nov 2009, 17:48 ]

A derelict church which has been disused for 27 years could be converted into a children's activity centre complete with climbing tower and soft play areas.

Atrium Games, which ran the Totem climbing and obstacle course for children at Ocean Terminal until last year, hopes to open a new centre at Lauriston Place Church if council plans to buy it under a compulsory purchase order go ahead.

As the Evening News reported on Monday, the church needs £895,000 worth of restoration, having sat empty since it was bought by the Arab Social League in 1982. It planned to turn it into a community centre, but no work was ever carried out, and the Grade C listed building has crumbled into a state of disrepair.

The League has said it wants to transfer ownership of the building to a new charity, the Edinburgh Arab Scotland Trust (EAST), but EAST is still fundraising to carry out repair work and says it does not know when it would be able to make the building watertight, let alone restore it completely.