The launch event for Made In Midlothian was deemed a huge success, with around 500 visitors attending a day of workshops, demonstrations and live music.
The day-long showcase of local creativity was held on June 23 in the new One Dalkeith building in the centre of Dalkeith. Stall-holders from across the region came together to exhibit their produce and share their skills, while local musicians entertained the crowds in the street food café.
Event organiser and chair of the Made In Midlothian steering group, Renae Bell, thanked everyone involved.
She said: “It was an amazing day that was only made possible thanks to the generosity and talent of all of our local crafters, producers, businesses and organisations plus many volunteers.
“With everything from ceramics to up-cycled lampshades, this event has really highlighted how strong and diverse local businesses are in Midlothian.
“The launch really exceeded all of our hopes for the day and we’re looking forwards to continuing to promote the range of talent in our region.”
With a range of activities on offer throughout the day, there was something for everyone. Attendees tried their hands at a circle weaving workshop, listened to extracts from Charm Offensive read by the author, Gwen Gates Parker, and even made their own slime in a workshop run by kids from the local Art Club!
Donna Strachan, Art Club co-ordinator, said: “Made In Midlothian gave the kids at Art Club a wonderful opportunity to promote and sell their work alongside lots of brilliant artists and crafters of all sorts.
“It was great to see them taking responsibility for running their own workshops and sharing their love of crafting with their peers.”
It wasn’t just arts and crafts on show at the event, though, with local musicians playing on the “Made stage” and entertaining event-goers while they sampled some of the finest street food Midlothian has to offer. There was even singing and dancing sessions for toddlers and babies in the kid’s corner.
Miss Sugar, Lady DJ, who programmed the musical offerings and played the first set, said: “It was wonderful to see people enjoying local food, art and music. I look forward to more events like this: warm, friendly, fun and community-driven.”
The launch event was also the first public event to be held in the new One Dalkeith building at 21 Eskdaill court. The local community development trust has recently taken over the lease on the old Pick’n’Save building and have been working tirelessly to get it up to scratch.
One Dalkeith’s chairman, Douglas Strachan, said: “Sunday was a great opportunity for us to spread the word about our plans for the future of the building and to showcase how it can be a valuable resource for the local community.”
Community leaders were also delighted with the event. Midlothian MP Danielle Rowley (Lab) said: “I had a fantastic time at the Made in Midlothian launch event. What I enjoyed most about this event was seeing the community come together to enjoy a local space and support local traders and artists.”
Midlothian North MSP (SNP), said: “I was delighted to attend the Made in Midlothian event. It was fantastic to see the community pulling together and arranging such a successful event using only volunteers and with no budget to speak of.”
Made In Midlothian is planning on building on the success of the launch event to continue promoting local talent with a series of themed events and displays across Midlothian.