Hard-hitting reply to soft play claim

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Soft play will not necessarily be the only game in town if the former Bonnyrigg Leisure Centre building is saved from demolition.

So says the Leader of Midlothian Council Owen Thompson, who has categorically denied that the local authority is engineering a “soft play only” future for the vacant premises.

Councillor Thompson (SNP) spoke out after elected members agreed to knock back bids by community groups vying to take ownership of the King George V Park building at a meeting last week.

A panel of council officials had expressed concern that the proposals from Bonnyrigg Centre Trust (BCT) and Midlothian Fitness Academy were not financially sustainable.

Deciding, against the wishes of Bonnyrigg councillor Ian Baxter (Green), not to award Preferred Bidder status to BCT, councillors backed an SNP motion which called on the council to postpone demolition for a further three months in order to “undertake a review of the merits and opportunities for soft play provision in the Bonnyrigg area”.

Following the meeting, a stunned councillor Baxter hit out: “However this may be presented, the wording of the agreed motion is quite clear. Demolition has been postponed to see if part of the building can be used for soft play and for that reason alone.

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