Annual General Meeting 2023

Monday 9 October 2023 at 7.30pm

The Annual General Meeting of Portobello Central SCIO will be held at 7.30pm on Monday 9 October in Portobello Town Hall (doors open from 7pm).
Members of Portobello Central SCIO are invited to join the Board of Trustees at the AGM. It will be an opportunity to reflect on the work undertaken in 2022/2023 leading to the reopening of Portobello Town Hall on 1 June 2023 under community management and to look to the future.

The meeting is open to all, including non-Members, but only Members may vote. 

Report and Financial Statements

Proposed Alterations to the Constitution

This year we have some proposed changes to the Constitution, so we will be seeking a Members’ vote passed by two-thirds of the those attending the meeting. If you wish to vote and cannot attend the AGM, please send your proxy vote to any of the Trustees or specifically to the chair of Portobello Central ( Please note the Constitution limits proxy voters to five proxy votes except for the chair who may use unlimited proxy votes.

The proposed new wording is to fill process gaps in the Constitution of which the Trustees have become aware, such as outlining in more useful detail how the election and re-election of Trustees works and proposing changes to ensure that members get more meaningful information on Trustee candidates prior to the AGM.

The proposed changes are detailed here.  The changes proposed if approved by two-thirds of the members present at this AGM will take effect only from the next AGM. Meanwhile we will be guided by the current Constitution and can take nominations of Trustees up to and during the AGM.

Be A Trustee

All the current Trustees wish to carry on but also are keen to have new colleagues and, inevitably, new ideas for the board. The Constitution provides for up to 15 Trustees to be elected. At their first meeting the Trustees elect, from their number, a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.  

If you would like to offer yourself as a potential Trustee, please contact any Trustee or use to discuss what is involved. Being a Trustee is a rewarding voluntary role and is a great way to be part of something important and valuable in your community and to gain new skills and friendships. 

Under the current Constitution all current Trustees will retire at the AGM and they and any new candidates will stand for election to be Trustees for the coming year.
We look forward to sharing information with you, the Members of Portobello Central SCIO at this, our 2nd AGM and also to hearing your thoughts and ideas.

Town Hall Life

What has the Town Hall ever done for us?

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Portobello Town Hall Northern Soul Alldayer, we would love to get this venue back again..

If Carlsberg done northern soul alldayer they would ask Stebo  where’s this Portobello Town Hall

I know it would sell out in days . One of our events sold out in just over 9 days. Even after nearly a year since our last event at town hall we are still getting asked when next one is on and people trying to order tickets.

I still don’t understand why we cant have events there its not just a venue its a part of our life and soul I saw my first live/local band there in the 70s the valves playing ain’t no surf KTF all

The best of times!


From Facebook

What Dancers Say

“I performed my first dance show in the Town Hall when I was 7 years old and continued participating in shows here until I was 17. Our local primary school, Tower bank, also put on shows here. These events contributed hugely to my childhood and teen years – I loved performing on stage and it helped me to build a lot of confidence. In later years I look back and recognise the sense of community it helped to establish and the feeling of belonging somewhere that it brought. Performing on stage and celebrating your talents with your their peers helps children to feel integrated in the community and feel involved in something meaningful that is outwith their usual school activities. I have also been to many ceilidhs, parties, weddings, political meetings, and charity events in the town hall over the years – what an amazing venue to hold all of these. We need to focus on what binds us together and what we have in common and how we cab celebrate that – Portobello Town Hall is an ideal hub for this. To lose this treasured building would be devastating for us and for future generations.”

Megan Edwards, aged 30 (Former pupil & Mum of current pupil)

“I think it is a fabulous community resource and a real asset to Portobello. It has been a fantastic venue for the dance shows”.

Morag (parent)

“Me and my sister really enjoy the town hall because of all the fun memories we have had there it would be very sad to loose all those opportunities for new memories x”

Freya age 13 & Georgia age 7

 ‘We grew up dancing in the town hall and it is a key part of the LDA experience as its such an exciting venue to perform in especially for the younger girls. It is extra special for us older girls as we have done all our shows there and it would be a shame to see it go.

It is also a central part of the wider Portobello community, being used for a variety of clubs, exercise classes, performances and even weddings.”

Meghan  21 (former pupil) & Grace 18 (current pupil)

“I like the Town Hall because it has a grate big stage and I like the red curtains”

Eva age 6yrs

“The town hall is where I used to go after school club. I like the big roof  as you can kick the ball really high.  Sometimes  the ball got stuck up on that  place where you can sit to watch a show.

Molly age 6yrs.

“For me Portobello town hall was when I first danced on stage. Giving me confidence when I was really young.  I always imagined my dance career with LDA ending after performing at the town hall when I’m 17/18, in front of my friends and family and all the younger girls.”

Abbey age 11yrs

“The town hall is really special to me and especially to Lothian dance academy. Every 2 years we would do our big dance show and it is so handy to have it right beside our dance class. It is also such a beautiful building and it would be a  shame to not have it.”

“Performing  shows at or local Town Hall has given  Chelsea the opportunity to mix with the different age groups – allowing her to be a help and to be helped by the older girls who are amazing role models. The environment is always positive , encouraging and safe.  Overall a real positive -with good memories not just for her but also all the family who get to watch.” 

Chelsea’s Mum


We got wed!

Great venue for making memories

One of our family weddings was in Porty Town Hall last year, married in Bellfield, it was a fantastic Porty wedding and what a brilliant place to hold the reception. Wonderful!

Here’s husband and me dancing in PTH, not bad for 80!!

Love Porty Town Hall, happy memories. would be so sad to let it go.

I used to go to the town hall dancing on a Saturday night it was great

From Facebook

Fancy seeing you here!

Fancy seeing you here!


Could the town hall be used as a fringe venue? With so many performers looking for space – it could be full through August I’m sure?

If we got the Town Hall and Bellfield and PJPC all operating as Fringe venues, it would make a real out of town hub!

It was at one time I saw a Sondheim musical there in the early 1970s. I think attendance was low because it wasn’t in the city centre and I don’t think it was used again by the Fringe.

Would be great to keep this fantastic building.

From Facebook

Isaac Stern playing in PTH in Edinburgh Festival

About Portobello Central

What is Portobello Central?

We are the charitable body that the City of Edinburgh Council agreed, in November 2022 should take over management of Portobello Town Hall. The Council allocated £350,000 from the Scottish Government Place Based Investment Fund for essential repairs and refurbishment and this work will be completed in early 2023. Work is in hand to agree a 25 year, full repairing, lease from April 2023.

The transition to a community-based charitable body radically changes the financial basis on which the building will be run and offers the possibility of more flexible management. This will include an easily accessible and responsive booking process and close engagement with other venues in Portobello. The vision is that the Town Hall should return to being a key player in the life of Portobello and the surrounding area.

In the longer term Portobello Central hopes to carry through significant improvements to the building, starting with a focus on access and facilities of good standard. For now the building will continue in its present configuration as we focus on creating a business with wide appeal.

The formal SCIO documents are here.

The Business Plan

How can you get involved?

Portobello Central is already looking for help in many ways. A real need is to have Members – a role similar to shareholder in a company but without any financial input. You can become a Member by applying here.

But if hands on action or setting up an event is more your idea of help let us know on:



I had so many ways to start this blog

  • Humbled by the generosity.
  • Blown away
  • Astonished

But went with the question.

How many ways to say ‘thank you’?

The answer is, not sure, but the Portobello Central trustees would like to find at least one for each of the 561 people who have supported our Crowdfunder which closed in the early hours of Sunday morning.  Donations have ranged from £1 to £1,000 and we value every single one of them.  It’s great to see so many people putting their support into opening the Town Hall, a total of £25,607 has been donated and this has attracted more than £4,000 in Gift Aid. 

This blog is the loudest and most public expression of our thanks of the deep generosity that we appreciate so much and have been humbled by over the past six weeks.

When we decided to go down this path it was with much careful thought.  We knew that we were asking an awful lot of people particularly just after Christmas and with the background of the increasing cost of living.   That makes our thankyou even more heartfelt (if that could even be possible).

The Crowdfunder has put us in a privileged position of reading all the supportive messages which we’ve been blown away by.   Here are just a few from the Crowdfunder that were shared publicly:

  • ‘My son and I had so many great times at the Town hall, after school clubs, shows and classes. It’s a special place that everyone should benefit from’
  • ‘What a wonderful job you are doing with our beautiful Town Hall. Looking forward to seeing it in its full glory’
  • ‘So pleased to see the town hall being restored and nearing re-opening! What a fabulous achievement by local people for local people’

The support for the project is vital, in time the Town Hall will need further developments for which we’ll need the support of other funders.  We’ll need to demonstrate just how vital the building is to everyone in Portobello.

Finally, standing outside the town hall to raise awareness and get donations, the conversations that we’ve had from everyone who’s stopped to chat, the memories that people hold dear and the excitement when we’ve said the Town Hall is re-opening in the summer have been astonishing. 

So, what’s next? 

You have provided the Trustees of Portobello Central with a foundation for the next phase of the work we started, with you all, 3 years ago.  From here on you should see more action on the ground and, very soon, doors open

Today we take a breath knowing that the lease is with our solicitors and they are negotiating the best deal possible for us.

Tomorrow we refresh our to-do list, look at all the offers of help we’ve had and start ticking the tasks off that list now that we’re getting ready to open the doors

But first one more massive THANK YOU

Sally Dyson


STEP BY STEP Gradually we are exploring the site now that the builders and others are done. The legal documents are approaching final versions, people are applying to work with us, enquiries to book roll in – it is an odd feeling. It has all been possible because people continue to tell us they want …


I had so many ways to start this blog But went with the question. How many ways to say ‘thank you’? The answer is, not sure, but the Portobello Central trustees would like to find at least one for each of the 561 people who have supported our Crowdfunder which closed in the early hours …