Funding has been approved for street improvements in Penicuik as part of the planned town centre regeneration project. Work is due to begin this August.
Midlothian Council has agreed to allocate £460,000 over the next two years for improvements to the junction between High Street, West Street and Bridge Street, widening the pavement and reducing the width of the road. The aim is to improve sight lines, making the area safer for drivers and pedestrians, while improving traffic flow and enhancing the overall appearance of the town centre.
The funding will come from developer contributions from construction projects in the town.
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for communities, Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab), said: “The planned improvements will greatly enhance the appearance of Penicuik town centre as well as improving road safety. Along with the restoration of historic buildings and improvements to public areas, this exciting project will greatly improve the quality of the townscape for local residents, businesses and visitors to the town.”
However, speaking at last week’s full council meeting Councillor Andrew Hardie (Con) warned: “I know the work to improve the town centre last time when it was pedestrianised decimated Penicuik. I hope the work carried out this time will be more sensitive and thought-out in a way the improves our town centre.”
The full regeneration project is aimed at making significant improvements to the environment and economy of Penicuik by developing a more vibrant town centre. Planned to run for five years, the project will also include improving key historic buildings and public spaces.
Local community groups, Penicuik Community Development Trust and Penicuik First, have worked with Midlothian Council on producing funding submissions for the project. Applications to both the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland were approved in principle last year and a final decision on funding for the regeneration project is expected this summer. If the bid is successful, £1.6 million will be secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a further £980,000 coming from Historic Environment Scotland.
As part of the improvement plans, a major public consultation and town centre audit took place in Penicuik in the latter half of 2017, and included public surveys, discussions with property owners, exhibitions, workshops and drop-in sessions.