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The National Health Service is about to leave the land occupied by the Astley Ainslie Hospital – a substantial area in South Edinburgh. They are moving the services devoted to convalescence and the recovery of long-term patients to the site of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, and they are constructing new buildings there.
The Astley Ainslie is public land. It was bought in the 1920s by the Trustees of David Ainslie, who left a handsome sum of money to set up a convalescent hospital for patients from the Royal Infirmary. The Trustees established the hospital on a substantially green site – gardens and a ladies’ golf course – which assists both in the recovery of the patients and in the health and pleasure of the surrounding neighbourhood. This, with a group of nineteenth and twentieth century buildings, is still there as a notable asset in our lives.
The Astley Ainslie Community Trust has been set up by a group of volunteers, who believe that the community as a whole would benefit from continued public ownership of the grounds. We are working towards Community Asset Transfer to assure local social, economic and environmental benefit. We recently received Scottish Government Making Places Funding.