A project that means business

Penicuik's monthly street market is one venture aimed at rejuvinating the town centre.
Penicuik's monthly street market is one venture aimed at rejuvinating the town centre.

This summer, Penicuik First BID (Business Improvement District) will be celebrating its first birthday, writes Penicuik First chairman Michael Graham.

It really doesn’t seem like a long time since it was little more than a good idea but since the businesses of Penicuik town centre voted to invest in the trading area, there have been projects developed and delivered from all angles.

The BID member businesses that make up the board of directors have devoted so much of their time and expertise to the project that the vast majority of the first year’s budget can be spent directly on projects to make the town centre a more vibrant and attractive place to shop and to trade.

The board would like to invite any other BID members, who love their town centre and want to support the objectives of Penicuik First, to get in touch with team@penicuikfirst.com and join.

In its first few months of existence, Penicuik First has created, printed and distributed 10,000 copies of “Journey To Penicuik”, which features a town centre business directory, activities in and around town, as well as an in-depth history of the town, created a town centre website with an events calendar and business directory (with plans for it to become a yet more powerful tool for promotion of the area), committed to install extra hanging baskets throughout the summer months and operated the hugely successful Penicuik Market, which has brought many thousands of shoppers to the town centre since last June.

Penicuik First will operate for an initial term of five years, at which point businesses will be invited to vote once again for its continuation. After such an auspicious start, it looks like this intelligent investment in the trading area will be secure for many years to come. The Penicuik Storehouse project, led by the Penicuik Community Alliance and partnered by Penicuik First, has seen a Scottish Government investment of £150,000 in the heart of the town centre within the first operational year of both organisations: just as it sees its first spring this year, it’s already clear to see that Penicuik First means business!

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