Councillors ignored officer advice in a shock decision to hand over the threatened Bonnyrigg Leisure Centre to Bright Sparks special needs playgroup.
Despite council officers proposing the Bonnyrigg Centre Trust as the preferred bidder, Midlothian councillors chose Bright Sparks by 14 votes to 2.
Louise Gough from Bright Sparks said the group plans to use the Yard in Edinburgh, an indoor and outdoor adventure playground for children and young people with disabilities, as its inspiration. Their plans include an outdoor playpark, while the old part of the leisure centre will be demolished and new frontage built.
She said: “We’re absolutely delighted. It gives us the opportunity to expand our service for disabled children in Midlothian.
“Our vision is to have a space we can multi-use at one time. This will maximise our time and space, and help more families.”
The group, which will soon discuss their vision in detail with the council before announcing a timescale, also plans to open a cafe and a soft play area accessible by children with special needs.
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