A Gorebridge project, designed to help create a new future for the area, is helping young people find work even before its doors open.
The charity behind the £2.2 million Gorebridge Beacon has hired a social enterprise to provide 24-hour security and CCTV monitoring, while finding replacement contractors to finish off the half-completed building.
GTS Solutions CIC, a community interest company, has employed Scott McDonald as one of four staff working at the Beacon.
The 20-year-old, from Moredun, had thought he was set for a good start to working life through a tiling apprenticeship after leaving school at 16 but that was terminated halfway through when his employer closed down. Stints of working in supermarkets and being unemployed followed before he spotted an advert on Gumtree for a training course offered by the Princes Trust on security work.
The course was provided by his employer and the father of one was offered a permanent post on the Living Wage following his graduation in December 2014.
He said: “The course involved training in door supervision, monitoring CCTV systems, awareness around terrorism and football stewarding. Getting the Living Wage has been huge for me and my family. I’ve now got a house, a car and we were able to get away on holiday for the first time earlier in the year. I’m now looking forward to trying to work my way up in the company and establish myself in a career.”
The new complex brings together three public halls, a community cafe, a Surestart nursery, a youthwork facility with offices and meeting space for rent by starter businesses, social enterprises and local companies.
Paul Renwick, development manager for the Gorebridge Community Development Trust, said: “GTS’s ethos definitely fits with the social purpose of the Gorebridge Beacon and their presence is a real reassurance to the Trust and our funders as we go about finding replacement contractors to help us get the Beacon open.
“Clearly, we would have preferred for the building to have been completed and open by now, but the Trust has had to intervene and move fast to protect this important regeneration project.
“GTS was quick to respond to our tender invitation, good at helping us take back and protect the site and is doing a great job in developing young people starting careers in security work.”
The Gorebridge Beacon is funded by Midlothian Council, the Big Lottery and the Scottish Investment Fund.