A series of events are due to take place in Penicuik next week to mark the launch of a multi-million pound regeneration project aimed at kicking life back into the town centre.
The five-year £3 million scheme will be officially launched at Penicuik Town Hall on Tuesday, December 4, at 5.30pm, with locals invited to find out more about the project. More events will follow throughout the week in to mark the project launch, including a papermaking workshop and an exhibition.
Penicuik Heritage Regeneration manager Rod Lugg was also behind similar projects in Gorebridge and Dalkeith.
He said: “It’s been two years in the making. Because we have had to submit applications for funding, then we had to do quite a lot of back-up work to show the difference it will make. We had a number of workshops last year to see what people felt about how Penicuik could be improved. The overwhelming thing was the state of the buildings in the centre of town. People are very keen to see the town hall get a sustainable future. It’s in a fairly good condition but still needs some work.
“I’m very optimistic about the future. If we can achieve some of the things we have achieved in Dalkeith and Gorebridge and achieve even more here I will be very pleased.”
Following the launch event on Tuesday, the Penicuik Heritage exhibition is on at the town hall on Wednesday and Thursday (10am-5pm)and Saturday (10am-2pm). On Thursday, a traditional papermaking workshop will be available 4pm-7pm at Pen-y-coe Press on Bridge Street. A traditional construction skills exhibition and presentations will take place on Friday 10am-1pm at the town hall. And Penicuik Historical Society will give a talk on Wednesday at the town hall at 7pm.
Rod added: “You never know how many people will turn up to these things. We will hopefully get a few people in to get engagement with people so they understand what we are doing and what’s happening to their town centre.
“It’s imperative we do something to improve the town centre. Shopping centres everywhere are suffering but if we can build on the heritage of the town we can see improvements. A bit like in Dalkeith where we did the museum in the Corn Exchange.
“We have started with the physical works improving the high street. It’s going to be resurfaced and widened.
“We had to start the work now as we had funding which had to be spent by the end of March. It’s not ideal timing to do this work but if people can see the benefits they will be able to put up with it.”
The scheme received £1.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £980,000 from Historic Environmental Scotland, £337,000 from the council with more expected, and £5,000 from Penicuik First.
Other partners include Penicuik Community Development Trust and Penicuik Community Council.