End of the road for CARS in Gorebridge

Gorebridge CARS scheme grants first award, 32-36 Main Street, Gorebridge  LtoR Rodd Lugg, Patricia Reynolds & Stephanie Walker.
Gorebridge CARS scheme grants first award, 32-36 Main Street, Gorebridge LtoR Rodd Lugg, Patricia Reynolds & Stephanie Walker.

A £2 million pound project to repair and restore historic buildings in Gorebridge has been successfully completed after five years.

The Gorebridge Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) is a partnership involving Midlothian Council, Gorebridge Community Development Trust and Historic Environment Scotland. Thanks to grant funding provided by the project to local property owners, 26 buildings were restored in the town centre, along with improvements around Hunter Square.

The regeneration scheme has also encouraged contractors, building owners, and apprentices to take part in traditional construction skills training, delivered in partnership with Edinburgh College. 56 trainees completed the courses and 30 local children took part in schools awareness courses.

A number of local community engagement projects were also held to increase awareness and appreciation of Gorebridge’s history and heritage.

To celebrate the scheme’s completion a special celebration was to be held on Wednesday (May 9) at the Gorebridge Community Development Trust’s office.

Midlothian Council’s communities spokesperson, Councillor Russell Imrie, said: “By enthusiastically engaging with the local community, the project partners have delivered significant improvements to properties and to the streetscape in the historic town centre.

“They have also successfully delivered a training plan to improve skills and awareness in traditional construction skills, and have increased appreciation of the town’s fascinating history and heritage.”

As a result of this work, the ‘Gorebridge Connected’ masterplan has been approved for grant funding by the Borders Railway Blueprint fund. It includes proposals for more improvements at Hunter Square. There are also plans for a heritage trail to connect Hunter Square and the Main Street with the station and other sites of interest, such as Newbyres Castle and the Stobs Mill Gunpowder Works site.

The repair and restoration of Gorebridge station for community use is also planned, with the award of LEADER and Railway Heritage grant funding for the project.