Full steam ahead for Newtongrange hub initiative

Newtongrange Train Station is to get a new bistro with training kitchen, learning centre and business space. Pictured are Borders Railway Programme Executive Lindley Kirkpatrick and Dodie Piddock of Apex Scotland.
Newtongrange Train Station is to get a new bistro with training kitchen, learning centre and business space. Pictured are Borders Railway Programme Executive Lindley Kirkpatrick and Dodie Piddock of Apex Scotland.

A project to turn a disused building at Newtongrange railway station into a community hub is to benefit from a £360,000 cash injection.

Track 2 Train is among 29 community projects across Scotland to secure a Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant.

A spokesman for Midlothian Council, which secured the cash, said: “The funding announcement is a major investment in this exciting partnership project.

“We’re working with Track 2 Train, a charity established by and closely associated with Apex Scotland, to redevelop the building, which is currently owned by Network Rail.

“The hub will be a great community space and, through Apex Scotland, which works with people in the criminal justice system, it will also offer excellent training opportunities for ex-offenders.

The cafe bistro will create four full time posts and five part time posts initially. Ten traineeship places will also be available with a focus on hospitality, customer service and the food industry.

The bistro will be on the ground floor of the building. Upstairs there will be office space, a learning centre, IT suite and a flexible meeting space for community groups.

The total cost of work to transform the derelict building is £785,000.

A further £260,000 will come from Borders Railway Blueprint partnership fund. A total of £80,000 has also come from the Railway Heritage Trust.

Other funding sources are being pursued.

Lindley Kirkpatrick, ScotRail’s Borders Railway programme executive, said: “ScotRail are pleased that this important funding milestone for the project has been reached, and look forward to working with Track2Train and Midlothian Council to see this exciting project come to life. It represents yet another way that the Borders Railway is improving communities in Midlothian.”

Apex Scotland chief executive Alan Staff said: ”Apex Scotland is delighted that a significant milestone in the development of this exciting new venture has been reached. Track 2 Train, our latest social enterprise, represents an innovative partnership between the Scottish Government, ScotRail Alliance, Midlothian Council and Apex which will bring real benefit to the local community and the economy.”