Bellfield Portobello, Edinburgh – A Community Right to Buy Story


Bellfield is a hallmark of success for community initiatives the first organisation in an urban area to benefit from Community Right to Buy powers. When the Church of Scotland decided to sell Portobello Old Parish Church, the community came together to save this important building and keep it in the community. It is now a vibrant community space in the heart of Portobello offering hire space for every occasion and a programme of regular classes and events.

Since opening in June 2018 following a community buy-out, the halls have become a hub for Portobello’s lively community, providing a local venue for people to come together to meet, play and celebrate.


Image Credit: Shawna Law – Exploring Edinburgh

Action Porty Secretary, Ian Cooke says: 

“We were delighted to be the first urban organisation to successfully utilise the Community Right to Buy scheme. We are proud to have the opportunity to take this historic building into the hands of local people, to ensure it continues to be used by the community and provide much-needed facilities for the Portobello area. The use of land in urban areas is vital to the development of successful places and strong communities, so I’m glad to support the MyLand campaign to raise awareness of what is possible for land in Scotland.”
David Robertson, Secretary to the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, said:
“Agreeing a settlement with Action Porty for its purchase of the former Portobello Old Parish Church and halls was a straightforward process under the legislation. 


“The General Trustees are always willing to consider community purchase proposals for other redundant properties that are presented to them. Each case would be judged on its own merits bearing in mind the Trustees’ obligations as stewards of charity assets.”


Find out more about how you can get involved or if you have a similar project visit

Scottish Land Commission

Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) / DTAS Community Ownership Support Service (COSS)

Community Land Scotland

Scottish Land Fund

Right to Buy Scheme