Midlothian Matters - Share success for Storehouse

Pupils from Penicuik and Beeslack High Schools help the Alliance launch their community share scheme
Pupils from Penicuik and Beeslack High Schools help the Alliance launch their community share scheme

After a successful public meeting in the Town Hall on January 21, the Penicuik Community Alliance reached another milestone, writes Roger Kelly, Penicuik Community Alliance.

On Burns Night we took over the old Nickel and Dime premises in Penicuik High Street and the hard work of conversion has now begun.

The new Storehouse will concentrate on high quality food at low cost and aims to bring footfall back to the town centre after the success of Penicuik First Friday market.

The shop will incorporate a Breadshare bakery with cafe, grocery and Lost Garden food hall and upstairs a social supermarket to combat food poverty with training facilities and community space.

The Alliance has begun to draw down the Town Centre Community Capital Finance grant awarded by the Scottish Government to make the Storehouse project a reality.

Community share pledges from the public now stand at more than £31,000 mostly from people calling or posting to their registered office in Bridge Street, and a proportion have also made investments online via the Alliance website at www.penicom.net and its Microgenius connection. As well as this entry point for UK investment in Penicuik, an international payments system will be available for crowdfunding investments very shortly.

With more than seven weeks to go, and thanks to the determination of school teams at Penicuik High and Beeslack, the shares are on target to reach the Alliance’s minimum target of £82,100 by the end of March when the community share issue closes. We must have this investment to succeed!

The Storehouse team is being advised by willing volunteers and the best professionals led by Alan Thomson of architects Lee Boyd. Penicuik retail layout expert Sean Petit is contributing wholeheartedly to promote a truly local feel for the Storehouse in counterpoint to his current international consultancy work fitting out new Ikea stores in Copenhagen and Geneva. An Edinburgh master baker has helped by looking at production with Breadshare and the rest of the retail team.

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