Media Mogul behind St Stephen’s bid

Mar 16 2014 | By More

New hint from St Stephen’s Playfair Trust on bidder

The ground floor of St Stephens. Photo: sale particulars.

The ground floor of St Stephens. Photo: sale particulars.

By Thom Dibdin

The St Stephen’s Playfair Trust which lost out in its bid to purchase the St Stephen’s Centre arts venue has said it knows the identity of the winning bidder.

According to a statement released tonight (Sunday 16 March 2014) to its supporters, the SSPT says it learnt his identity this week, but that it remains confidential.

The legal paperwork behind the purchase of the former St Stephen’s Church has yet to be finalised, not least because Edinburgh council has a right of pre-emption for a month from the sale date.

However the SSPT has revealed that the purchaser is “a multi-millionaire owner of a media empire.” He is said to want to retain the Stockbridge venue for community use and run it as a performing arts space.

Speaking of their involvement in the future of St Stephens, the trust’s statement says: “The Trust is obviously keen to meet with him, and to hear his vision for St Stephen’s, because we would hope that that vision might marry with ours and that we could be of use, perhaps as the vehicle moving the renewal of the church forward.”

Around 300 people attended a public meeting in St Stephens on February 6 this year, called by the SSPT. At the meeting the SSPT outlined its own plans for the future of the building, indicating that is would cost at least £6 million to bring it up to a viable standard for long-term use.

St Stephen’s is a grade A listed building. It was designed by William Playfair and completed in 1828 as the St. Stephen’s Parish Church. The interior was reconfigured in 1956 and it became the St. Stephen’s Centre 1992.

Further details of the background to the sale are available here: tag “St Stephen’s Centre”



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