A consultation exercise is set to begin this month as part of a detailed feasibility study into the potential regeneration of Dalkeith town centre.
Midlothian Council is considering options for future commercial, leisure and retail use, as well as for housing and civic buildings.
The feasibility study will, for the most part, take in the town centre area bordered by High Street, Buccleuch Street and South Street.
The main aim of the study is to examine the potential for boosting economic activity, investment and job opportunities by providing new or refurbished shops, offices and other workplaces, leisure facilities, housing and public spaces.
Options also include providing a new, more efficient and cost-effective council headquarters, while freeing up older inefficient council-owned offices in various other locations. The possibility of building a modern replacement library and new arts centre, with the potential for flexible community use, will also be considered.
The council will this month begin the first in a series of consultations involving community groups, local residents, retailers and property. The full consultation phase is expected to take several months.
Council leader, councillor Catherine Johnstone (SNP)said: “Although we are at a very early stage in the process, this feasibility study marks the start of an exciting new future for Dalkeith town centre.
“I very much welcome this important consultation, as it gives everyone with an interest in seeing the town centre revitalised the opportunity to influence what shops and businesses, housing and community facilities, will be provided there.”
Businesses and residents in the area will shortly receive information on the consultation, which will be opened up to the wider community over the next few months.