A firm favourite has emerged as the ‘people’s choice’ of location for a new community hub in Dalkeith.
Since launching our Give us a Hub campaign two weeks ago, the site of the former Dalkeith High School at Newmills Road has been identified time and again as the place where locals most want to see a community complex built.
Everyone - from shoppers in Dalkeith, to mums, members of the local business community, community councillors and stalwarts such as David Smith (former Provost of Dalkeith) - appears to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Even Midlothian’s political opponents MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) and MP David Hamilton (Lab) agree.
And the fact that the council is no longer looking at building a headquarters on the site is encouraging to say the least.
So the door has been left open and momentum is gathering speed. But let’s not get carried away – so far not a single member of Midlothian Council has gone on record suggesting, or even making reference to, the potential for a hub at the high school site.
Thankfully, the silence has been broken on what is happening up at Woodburn, where a long-awaited community project at the Miners Welfare club has failed to materialise.
Councillors, in responding to our challenge last week, were quick to stress that much has been going on behind the scenes. That’s all well and good, but having promised to build the Woodburn hub back in 2011, after flattening Dalkeith Community Centre against the wishes of local residents, would it not have been the decent thing to keep locals informed every step of the way?
The project in Woodburn should go ahead. Of that there is no doubt. It’s what the people were promised and it’s the least they deserve. By this time next year, anything less than a shiny new £1.5 million hub appearing next door to the Miners Club would be a disgrace.
But what has become increasingly clear is that the community wants something more ambitious.
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