Penicuik YMCA fights for future

Penicuik YMCA/YWCA, Queensway, Penicuik
Penicuik YMCA/YWCA, Queensway, Penicuik

Penicuik YMCA is to hold a public meeting tonight (Wednesday) to outline the impact of cuts to its grant by Midlothian Council.

The meeting will be held at the Y, 58 Queensway, at 7.30pm.

Last month the Advertiser revealed that the Y was launching its ‘Y we need the Y’ campaign after its funding was cut by £37,000 over the next three years.

In addition, to a public meeting, a petition is also circulating the town calling on the council to reinstate the Y’s funding.

Management committee chairman Keith McIntosh met with council leader Owen Thompson this week for crunch talks. The Y is also getting its message across to community groups including Penicuik and District Community Council and Penicuik Churches Working Together.

Mr McIntosh said: “We expressed our views about the concerns we had about the whole grant process but we really concentrated on what the implications were and what they were going to do to help us.”

He explained that the Y’s difficulties were in obtaining funding to meet running costs. Grant applications are being made but few bodies provide core funding.

“We had a fair hearing,” added Mr McIntosh. “The one thing he [Owen Thompson] said at the meeting was that the council might be prepared to underwrite the shortfall on a short term basis.”

Councillor Thompson (SNP) acknowledged that the Y did a lot of work that the council could not do itself and welcomed the “constructive” dialogue with the community group.

He said there were options to assist the Y in the short term, particularly as the Y is in a stronger position in the medium to long term.

Councillor Thompson added that the council was also in the process of looking to devolve council funding to communities.