£1.5m for Hillend

Plans have been submitted for new ski slopes at Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend.

The proposed developments will cost around £1.5 million and are being paid for by sportscotland, the national agency for sport.

Improvements include:

l an extra 210-metre slope on the hill

l 80 metres of new nursery slope

l extension and improvement work to the existing nursery slopes with new, safer ski matting

l new snowtubing

l installation of two new travelator uplift systems.

A planning application detailing the proposals has been submitted to Midlothian Council.

The council, which owns and runs Midlothian Snowsports Centre, has worked closely with an team of designers on the plans.

They are designed to improve the skiing experience for beginners as well as regular skiers and snowboarders.

Council Leader Derek Milligan (Lab) said: “These plans for improvements are an exciting next-step in the continued development of Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend.

“If the plans get the necessary planning consents, we expect customers to be able to use the existing facilities and slopes as normal throughout the winter.

“We know there is huge enthusiasm out there for the centre and these proposals are designed to offer something for everyone, whether it’s snowtubing, learning to ski on the new, safer nursery slopes or choosing a different slope from the top of the chairlift.

“Back in March we announced that national backing had been successfully secured for Midlothian Snowsports Centre at Hillend. The plans have been developed in close partnership with Sportscotland and we look forward to continuing that close partnership as this exciting project progresses.”

Chief Executive of sportscotland Stewart Harris said: “This is an excellent example of how our partnership with local authorities can find local solutions to sports facility development.

“The investment in the Midlothian Snowsport Centre will ensure its future and help it attract visitors of all ages.”