Penicuik residents determined to make Storehouse project work

Roger Kelly and Neville Suttle outside the Penicuik Storehouse
Roger Kelly and Neville Suttle outside the Penicuik Storehouse

Penicuik residents have been assured that everyone involved in the Storehouse project is determined to make it work.

And the forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting on Tuesday plans to elect a new committee and get things back on track to open the community facility as soon as possible.

The meeting will take place in Penicuik Town Hall from 7.30pm and all stakeholders and interested parties are invited.

Roger Kelly, acting convener of the Penicuik Community Alliance, told the Advertiser: “What we have to do is elect new members to the management board and bring everyone up to date on where we stand.

“Everyone concerned with the project is determined to see it succeed and we are looking at the best way to do that.”

This latest meeting follows on from a first EGM held on July 5 which was closely followed by the resignation of three of the five-strong committee. This left the committee with not enough members to continue.

In the invitation to stakeholders, from Mr Kelly and acting secretary Neville Suttle, it states: “The main purpose of the meeting on August 8 will be to form a new committee, who will elect new officers.

“As the two remaining officers, we intend to pursue early opening and we are keen to stand for re-election.

“In the meantime, work on the rear building will proceed as fast as possible without further depleting PCA funds, currently standing at £19.3K with £23K due to creditors on September 30.”

It added that the situation would be clearer by the time of the meeting.

“It promises to be an interesting meeting with important decisions to be made to realize the founders’ vision.”

Mr Kelly said that as soon as the new committee is up and running it would be pressing ahead, with the intention to open the ground floor of the Storehouse as soon as possible, in order to access a government grant of £93,000 a year.

“We are very close to completion and the problem has been that we have had to keep pushing the date back due to building control and environmental health issues,” he said.

“We can’t open until these have been completed.”

The ground floor of the Storehouse will host a community bakery and cafe with a kitchen to serve it, a provision store, food hall and indoor market, with more planned for the upper floor.