Rail link boost for Midlothian business

Artist Julie Read has hailed the advantages which the Borders Railway has given to local businesses
Artist Julie Read has hailed the advantages which the Borders Railway has given to local businesses

A Newtongrange artist says the long-awaited arrival of the Borders Railway is painting a positive picture for local businesses.

Julie Read offers students help with putting together their porfolios as they apply to art college.

As well as online support, Julie’s Portfolio Oomph business offers mentoring and workshops.

Julie said business has been made even better with the opening of the railway.

Students come from as far afield as Stirling and Perth to use Portfolio Oomph’s private art and design tutoring service.

She added: “What we offer is a niche service supporting students in their application to art college and predominately it’s students who are aged 17/18 who are either relying on public transport or the taxi of Mum and Dad!

“We’ve had a number of students from Portbello, Musselburgh also the Borders and this once posed a long bus journey into Edinburgh and out again.”

Students who have used Portfolio Oomph’s services have gone on to study at Heriot Watt School of Fashion and Textiles and Edinburgh College of Art among other places.

In addition, the train service opens up possibilities with easier access from the Scottish Borders and Midlothian to Edinburgh for galleries and other cultural events.

“Preparing to go to university or art college is just the start of a life a little more independent and by opening up the travel possibilities to our studio and services this is a good start.

“Jumping on the train at Brunstane to Newtongrange addresses the problems sometimes experienced of travelling across the Lothians and it hass increased our accessibility substantially,” said Julie.

An award-winning artist, Julie was also one of the Golden Ticket winners back in September when she was nominated for her work in keeping the Newtongrange library open in 2014.

Julie received her BA (Hon) in Fine Art Printmaking from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (Dundee) and a teaching qualification from the University of Strathclyde.