Midlothian’s 100 Objects – The Hillend artificial ski slope

The artificial ski slope at Hillend. Photo: Scotsman/Scran
The artificial ski slope at Hillend. Photo: Scotsman/Scran

Hillend Ski Slope, now called the Midlothian Snowsport Centre, boasts the longest dry ski slope in Europe.

The centre was opened in the 1960. It came under Lothian Regional Council’s remit until local government reorganisation in the 1990s.

Now operated by Midlothian Council, the centre can be found on the Pentland Hills adjacent to Lothianburn Golf Course.

All runs are made of matting that is suitable for use all year round, and floodlighting allows the slopes to be used in the evenings.

The ski slope a national training centre for Scottish Olympians, with 29 having been trained there as of 2010, including Finlay Mickel, a former British number one downhill skier.

Six years ago the centre faced closure as it was operating at a loss and the local authority faced funding shortages.

The council embarked on a cost cutting plan and was due to condier the sale or lease of the centre. However, a Facebook group campaigning to save the centre attracted 26,000 members.

The council agreed on a plan to keep the centre open, involving £600,000 of investment being spent on it by Sportscotland, and the sale of green belt land near the site to developers.

Schools regularly use the facility and there are many skiing competitions.

Photo: Scotsman/Scran

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