‘Destination Hillend’ plan revealed

Midlothian Snowsports Centre, previously  known as Hillend ski slope
Midlothian Snowsports Centre, previously known as Hillend ski slope
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An ambitious plan to increase revenue by turning Midlothian Snowsports Centre into a year round tourist attraction was announced in the budget.

The business plan to transform the Hillend facility into a year round tourist attraction is nearing completion. Officers warn ‘Destination Hillend’ would “require considerable initial capital investment” but as yet no exact figures have been revealed. However, the independent adviser producing the business case has concluded this initiative will return a substantial surplus to the council, expected to be around £1 million a year.

Presently the external consultants report is being reviewed by council officers.

Another innovative way of saving money revealed at Tuesday’s council meeting was transferring the running of the smaller leisure centres to community partnerships to operate as unmanned “Pure Gym” style facilities. The cost of running and maintaining the facilities would be met from operational charges and community members taking responsibility. Entry would be controlled through fingerprint ID or similar with CCTV security internally.

It is estimated that this would save the council £200,000 a year. However this would inevitably result in a reduction in staff.