Gorebridge hub branded ‘a joke’

The half finished community hub, pictured last August
The half finished community hub, pictured last August

The local volunteers responsible for the half-built Gorebridge Beacon were defended last week after the project was branded ‘a joke’.

At last week’s Gorebridge Community Council meeting, one of its members, Cath McGill, criticised the community hub which has lain empty since last summer when the contractor was sacked.

Artist's impression of the Gorebridge Beacon

Artist's impression of the Gorebridge Beacon

She said: “It’s a joke in the community that thing. It’s embarrassing. Is it a never ending piece of string?

“Who is managing this whole project? Have they managed a project before? As they don’t seem to know how to do it.

“I’m entitled to my opinion and I believe the whole thing is a disgrace.”

Councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab), leapt to the defence of the group behind the project - Gorebridge Community Development Trust.

He said: “They are doing what the community asked them to do. They are doing their best.

“It’s not their fault that they got a contractor that didn’t cut the mustard.

“They should have our full support. They have had a hard time. They are trying to do their best to rectify the situation and they are almost there.

“So a little bit of support for them wouldn’t go a miss.”

Archie Pacey from the Gorebridge Community Development Trust had earlier given the community council an update on the stalled project.

He said: “We are still in the process of dealing with the consequences of terminating the employment of the main contractor.

“That whole business has involved the need for us to find £800,000. You lose time, you lose money.”

Director of Resources at Midlothian Council John Blair said: “The council continues to work closely with the trust, its advisers and principal funders to find a way to progress the project following the termination of the previous contract due to non performance.

“Midlothian Council remains committed to working with the trust for the benefit of the community and will ensure that the appropriate safeguards remain in place to progress the project.”