Tell Me About Portobello Central

What is Portobello Central?

We are the group that consulted the wider Portobello community in the summer of 2020 about what should happen to and in the Town Hall.  Based on what we heard, we made a formal proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council on 9 March 2021 and, on 20 May 2021, the Council accepted, in principle, our plan to reopen the building as a major venue in the centre of Portobello and its surrounding communities.

We came together following a community meeting in August 2019.  In early 2020 the Council asked for proposals, apparently expecting commercial interest.  We took on the task of assembling a community bid, which would bring new life to the heart of Portobello.  The story is set out in the major document we offered to the Council.

What is Portobello Central SCIO?

Portobello Central SCIO is the community-based charity set up on 8 July 2021 to take Portobello Town Hall into community management and, possibly, into community ownership.  Being a charity brings many benefits, including relief from rates and access to funding from charitable sources. Portobello Central SCIO is formally a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR).

The SCIO succeeds Portobello Central Ltd, a company limited by guarantee, formed in 2020 to begin the work on the Town Hall.

The SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) brings:

•          ability to access funds from charitable and philanthropic organisations

•          a formal requirement to engage with our community by assembling a body of Members to which the Trustees will report

•          protections for Trustees, similar to those for directors of a limited company.

•          the ability to enter into legal agreements, such as leases and loans

•          exemption from payment of rates on buildings

 The SCIO has two parts:

Trustees, which form the Board, and are responsible for running the charity.

Members, by whom the Board is elected annually and to whom the Board reports.

The Board

The Constitution, approved by OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charitable Regulator), requires the Trustees to elect, from their number, a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.

The Trustees are:

Jennifer Elliot Chair              

Stewart Reid Treasurer

Geoff Pearson Secretary

Jon Davey

Sally Dyson

Damian Harney

Morag Phillips

Will Tyler-Greig  

The maximum number is 15 and we are looking for others to take on the role. 

How can you get involved?

We will soon be giving news about what you can do to help. Just knowing that you are reading this and our social media is encouraging.

Any questions or suggestions? Let us know on


The SCIO is controlled by a Constitution approved by OSCR, based on a draft provided by SCVO.



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