Gorebridge Beacon of hope re-lit

Gorebridge Community Development Trust members outside the unfinished building
Gorebridge Community Development Trust members outside the unfinished building

The stalled ‘Gorebridge Beacon’ community hub project is back on after those behind it appointed a new contractor to finish the £3 million building.

The original contractor T&A Kernoghan was sacked a year ago by Gorebridge Community Development Trust and the half-built building had sat empty since.

However, Elmwood Construction is now hard at work on the Hunterfield Road site and hope to complete construction by next s pring.

Robbie Laird, a board member of GCDT, said: “It had been starting to look rather sorry for several months, so it’s good to see people back on site and getting the job finished.

“It will be a fantastic building once it’s finished. I’m sure it will be on of the best community buildings in the country when it’s open for business.

“It’s good for Gorebridge, it’s needed, and I’m really looking forward to it being up and running.”

Mr Laird, a retired managing director for Balfour Beatty Railtrack Systems, explained why he got involved in GCDT: “The Beacon is the reason I volunteered to help out. I have managed many projects in the UK and overseas so I’m quite confident we will see it through and get it finished.

“I’m retired so I have time on my hands. That’s why I volunteered two months ago to help out. I’m a Gorebridge resident so it was rather depressing to see the Beacon in that state.

“I’m looking forward to next spring when it’s up and running and we have people using it. And I have to say that Midlothian Council have been great with us.”

The two-storey Beacon will house three halls, a community 
cafe, a youth facility, offices and a special needs nursery.

Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP), the cabinet member for property and facilities, said: “We are absolutely delighted a new contractor has been appointed to complete what will be a fantastic community facility. We look forward to continuing to work with local people to support this project as it moves forward. With a new park, a new school, high quality new housing and now further good news about the Gorebridge Beacon, all served by the Borders Railway, it’s an exciting time for Gorebridge.”

The Gorebridge Community Development Trust is now recruiting volunteer members of a proposed new supervisory board that will oversee the operation of the completed Gorebridge Beacon.

Robbie said: “We are looking to set up a new board, outwith the Trust, for the Gorebridge Beacon.

“We have asked for volunteers who will help when the beacon is up and running. In other parts of Scotland they have done that with community hub projects.

“We are looking for local residents or anyone really who can show they have the right skills we are looking for - finance, marketing, operations, human resources and facilities management. That has been advertised on our Facebook page.

“We are also looking for a business manager. That closes at the end of July, with interviews on August 8.

“That’s a paid position. £22-26,000 pro rata working three days a week.”

If you are interested in any of the positions, contact Linda Melrose of the Trust, at 58 Main Street, Gorebridge, call 01875 823202.