Plans to transform Newtongrange with Borders Railway funding are expected to create more than 440 jobs and add £20 million to the area.
The former mining village could see almost 600 new homes added, along with new business and retail, and the creation of a ‘town centre’ as part of its expansion.
The update report on the Border Railway Group’s investment plans, put before councillors on Tuesday, outlined the benefits on offer to Newtongrange from two masterplans which were described as well under way.
They are for the Stobhill and Lady Victoria Business Centre site and Newtongrange Town Centre, and could bring a mixture of just under 600 homes, commercial, business and industrial space and additional community space.
The report said: “An independent estimate of the economic impact of the development of the Midlothian masterplans was carried out, and concluded the masterplans could deliver up to £20.2m Gross Value Added and 447 jobs in Midlothian.”
In addition, there are plans underway to develop the former Newtongrange station building, which lies adjacent to a new building created for the railway, into a café, community building with a wide range of services from a learning centre to IT suites and meeting spaces with funding of £934,000 received.
Speaking about the Borders Railway at the council meeting, Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab) said: “A lot of us campaigned for the reinstatement of the railway line and we were told that was only the start of the journey , pardon the pun. And we have not give up on that.
“The improvements in Gorebridge you can see already. The building at Newtongrange Station will also be re-developed. All positive outcomes along the Borders Railway. We have all now got something that we can look forward to seeing delivered.”
In a message to Scotrail Cllr Imire added: “Please, please, please get it working properly and more efficiently. And then we as a county will benefit.”
Cllr Kenneth Baird (SNP) added: “We need morning commuter journeys to be six carriage trains.
“There is a risk in decline if the service isn’t where it should be.”