To: City of Edinburgh Council

Save historic Edinburgh school from demolition

Save historic Edinburgh school from demolition

We ask the City of Edinburgh Council to reverse its decision to demolish the old St John's RC Primary School main building in order to create a park. We believe this iconic and historic building on the border of Portobello and Duddingston should be saved and that its demolition is needless when it could be put to good use for the community, with the remainder of the site still being developed as a park.

Why is this important?

New information has come to light that this Neo-Georgian building is the first newly-built Catholic school in Edinburgh (and possibly Scotland) after the Scottish Education Act 1918 integrated Catholic schools into the state system. Like the listed Leith Academy in Edinburgh, it was designed by the architects Reid and Forbes and like Leith Academy, we believe it should be saved and given a new lease of life, either as much-needed housing or as a community space serving the needs of all local people.
We welcome the notion that there should be replacement parkland, intended to compensate for the loss of Portobello Park to the site of the new High School. However, demolition of the various prefabricated surrounding buildings, but retention of the main St John's building, would still allow for a significant new landscaped park to be created on this site. It seems counterintuitive to demolish a historic building in order to create a slightly larger parkland adjacent to the existing 14 hectare Figgate Park.
We need to stop and consider what is the most efficient and beneficial use of this historic resource.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • With demolition of Edinburgh Palette for luxury student flats, 200 creative practitioners are desperately looking for alternative accommodation, including the 16 strong members of my ceramic studio. This beautiful building would be perfect and create a vibrant cultural and creative local hub in the area for all. Please sign and share the petition.
  • The building is both historic and beautiful and it would be a waste to be demomolished.
  • The building would be best put to use as much needing housing and would retain part of the history of Portobello.


2018-10-13 16:46:09 +0100

500 signatures reached

2018-10-09 16:39:53 +0100

100 signatures reached

2018-10-09 11:40:06 +0100

50 signatures reached

2018-10-09 09:37:44 +0100

25 signatures reached

2018-10-09 08:08:27 +0100

10 signatures reached