Train station cafe plan remains on track

From left to right are: The chief executive of Apex Scotland, Alan Staff, Lindley Kirkpatrick Borders Railway programme executive, Sam Lawrie of All Cleaned Up,Track2Train board member Dot Horne, the chair of Apex Scotland, Brian Fearon, Councillor Russell Imrie and Apex Scotland's  Dodie Piddock.
From left to right are: The chief executive of Apex Scotland, Alan Staff, Lindley Kirkpatrick Borders Railway programme executive, Sam Lawrie of All Cleaned Up,Track2Train board member Dot Horne, the chair of Apex Scotland, Brian Fearon, Councillor Russell Imrie and Apex Scotland's Dodie Piddock.

Work is underway to transform a disused building at Newtongrange railway station into a new hub with a community space and cafe.

The £934,000 project is part of a major funding package of £3.4 million to revitalise Newtongrange and Gorebridge.

The hub is due to open in September. The cafe will be on the ground floor of the building. Upstairs there will be office space, a learning centre, IT suite and a flexible meeting space for community groups.

The cafe will create four full-time posts and five part-time posts in the first year. Ten traineeship places will also be available with a focus on hospitality, customer service and the food industry.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab) said: “It’s really exciting to finally be on site and to see the refurbishments taking shape. This is a fantastic, multi-agency project that will create jobs and really cement our commitment to ensuring the Borders Railway corridor is a great place in which to work, live and visit.”

The council is working with Track2Train, a charity established by and closely associated with Apex Scotland, to redevelop the Newtongrange station building, currently owned by the ScotRail Alliance.

Apex Scotland works with people who have barriers to employment and are at risk of offending.

The chief executive of Apex Scotland, Alan Staff, said: “Without doubt the best way to stop people becoming socially excluded is to build strong and vibrant communities who are proud of their achievements.

“Apex Scotland are privileged to be working with the local community and stakeholders to develop this project, and it is great to see it taking shape as the refurbishment progresses.”

Lindley Kirkpatrick, Borders Railway programme executive at the ScotRail Alliance, said: “This is an exciting investment that will really make a difference for our customers at Newtongrange station. It’s further evidence that the reopening of the Borders Railway has provided a great boost to the local economy.”

The funding for this project came from Scottish Government Borders Railway Blueprint match funding (£191,000), Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (£360,000), Railway Heritage Trust (£80,000), Midlothian Council (£15,000), Stations Community Regeneration Fund (£111,000) and Tyne & Esk LEADER fund (£177,000).