Community funding boost for Woodburn and Dalkeith

The Woodburn Coalfields Community Futures Open Day in The Welfare Hall, Dalkeith'L-R Back row Ellen Scott, Mairi Simpson, Alex Johnston, Norman Brett, Derek Welsh, Douglas Strachan Front Row- Enid Trevett, Cllr Margot Russell, Pauline Grandison, Ann Stewart-Kmicha
The Woodburn Coalfields Community Futures Open Day in The Welfare Hall, Dalkeith'L-R Back row Ellen Scott, Mairi Simpson, Alex Johnston, Norman Brett, Derek Welsh, Douglas Strachan Front Row- Enid Trevett, Cllr Margot Russell, Pauline Grandison, Ann Stewart-Kmicha

The outcomes of the Coalfields Community Futures household survey were revealed at a family open day held recently in Woodburn.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is backing the Woodburn/Dalkeith futures programme with a £20,000 participatory budget, and Midlothian Council is providing another £20,000 of matched funding, to get priority projects up and running as part of a five-year community action plan.

Those who attended the open day had the chance to register their support for the key themes, which emerged from the household survey and stakeholder interviews conducted by the local steering group over the last few months.

Increasing civic pride, making the town centre more attractive and more activities for young people were some of the more popular issues to be addressed.But the most popular proposal with those who attended the open day was for the establishment of a local community hub.

Councillor Margot Russell (Lab), Secretary of the Bill Russell Youth Group who is a member of the Steering Group, said: “There was a very positive atmosphere at the open day, and all those who attended really engaged with the process of choosing their favourite projects for inclusion in the five-year community action plan.

“Horizons Recovery Café kept every one going in tea, coffee sandwiches and cake while the live music and face painting created a lively atmosphere with lots of discussion on the key themes that have come out of the survey.”

Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “The level of interest, and the detail people were going into, bodes well for the future of the area.

“It was good to see so many people grasp the opportunity to express their views on how they would like to see their local area develop over the next five years.”

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Councillor Jim Bryant (SNP) said: “Many thanks to all those who took part, and ensured their voice was heard in shaping the area’s future. The action plan will now be able to reflect the local priorities discussed such as more activities for our young people and the local desire for a community hub.”