Celebrate half a century of snowsports at Hillend

From left to right are ski instructors and centre staff:  David Gray McMath, Tony Kuwall, Louise Sharp, Emma Smith and Dougie Harvey.

From left to right are ski instructors and centre staff: David Gray McMath, Tony Kuwall, Louise Sharp, Emma Smith and Dougie Harvey.

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The Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend is having a 50th birthday bash this weekend and everyone is invited to join in the celebrations.

To celebrate this milestone on Sunday, the centre will be offering the first 50 skiers, 50 snowboarders and 50 telemarkers the opportunity to slide for free. Tickets will be on a first come, first served basis.

Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP), the cabinet member for sport and leisure, said: “What a birthday! There’s certainly plenty to celebrate. The centre is the longest dry ski slope in Europe and has welcomed some pretty impressive VIP guests over the years including Olympic skiers Finlay Mickel and Alain Baxter, to name but two.

“It’s true there have been some hiccups along the way financially to get to this point but we’re thrilled that an investment of more than half a million pounds is paying off. Anyone who has not visited for a while should come along. There’s now so much more to offer sports enthusiasts from an additional 210-metre slope (the loop) to new tubing runs, improved nursery slopes and even a travellator system.”

The centre at Hillend will also be offering free ski and snowboard beginner tasters lessons throughout the day. Places are limited and pre booking is essential. Disability Snowsports will also be running taster lessons throughout the day, email lessons@disabilitysnowsport.org.uk

The centre was officially opened to the public by Boyd Anderson on December 8, 1965. Mr Anderson was a generous benefactor with a keen interest in skiing, outdoor education and gardening, who throughout his lifetime donated to projects across Scotland.

Midlothian Council owns and runs the Snowsports Centre. The recent improvements were funded by a £533,000 investment from sportscotland, and an injection of funds from the Boyd Anderson Trust.