Businesses vote in favour of project

Councillor Rosie and Edward Linton-Smith at the recent launch of the new Penicuik booklet
Councillor Rosie and Edward Linton-Smith at the recent launch of the new Penicuik booklet

More than three-quarters of Penicuik’s town centre companies have voted in favour of turning it into a Business Improvement District.

The BIDs scheme was backed by 77 per cent of the firms. The Penicuik First project also received an 80 per cent backing based on ratable value.

Penicuik Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP), who sits on the steering group, said: “We’re delighted with the result. It’s a fantastic achievement for Eddie and the steering group. We’ve worked so hard to deliver this result.

“The work now starts to improve the Penicuik town centre to make it a more attractive place for residents and visitors.”

Penicuik BID project co-ordinator Edward Linton-Smith added:“I’d been cautiously optimistic but this is a fantastic result and a great reflection of all the hard work of the steering group.”

He added that the next stage of the project would be to nominate a board of directors from the levied payers.

“We need to get them involved, as many as possible. We need a board of 12 people to steer the course for the five years of the operation.”

In the coming weeks the BIDs project will be registered as a company, with an operational start date on July 1.

“For the next month it will be the practical matters of getting it together to make sure we have gor a strong start with a good board of directors and a clear decision on what to start with,” said Mr Linton-Smith.

One of the project’s major initiatives will be the introduction of a monthly farmers’ market.

The inaugural event will be held in the north end of the town centre precinct today (Friday) from 10am to 3pm. It is hoped there will be around a dozen stalls.

Mr Linton-Smith continued: “We are really looking forward to it [the market]. It should be a success especially on the back of Hunter and Lass Week. Everyone has Penicuik on their minds.”

Last month Penicuik First launched a promotional booklet for the town centre highlighting its local businesses, attractions and history.

Mr Linton-Smith added: “There is plenty more to do. One of the first things is just to same the businesses some money with utility bills anyway we can.”

The BIDs area takes in John Street from Wilson Street to Bridge Street. Also included is Bog Road and the Craigibield House Hotel and West Street.