Youngsters help shape a ‘Town Hall for All’ plan

'A Town Hall for All' ' a project inviting young people in Penicuik to shape the future of their Town Hall through an ambitious series of events and activities.
'A Town Hall for All' ' a project inviting young people in Penicuik to shape the future of their Town Hall through an ambitious series of events and activities.

Young people in Penicuik are being invited to help shape the future of their town hall as part of the ‘A Town Hall for All’ project.

Every school pupil in the town is being asked to contribute to a programme of events to explore potential future plans for Penicuik Town Hall.

The Penicuik Heritage Regeneration project identified the town hall as a priority project. It is hoped that ideas, canvassed as part of the Year of Young People, can help spark a whole-town debate about what communities need in a 21st century town hall.

Rod Lugg of Midlothian Council and the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration project, said: “It is hoped that the best proposals from young Penicuikers can help inform exciting future plans for the town hall. We’re progressing funding applications to help adapt the town hall to meet the local community’s contemporary and future needs. We want this project to ultimately engage everyone in the area to participate in developing ideas for the town hall.”

he project is being facilitated by architect and urban planner Graham Ross, who grew up in Penicuik, and a team of his colleagues from Austin-Smith:Lord.He said: ”Penicuik was renowned as a papermaking town. The Town Hall was originally the Cowan Institute; a gift to the community by papermill owners nearly 125 years ago. Given this history it feels apt to ask folk in Penicuik to get their ideas for A Town Hall for All down on paper!

We intend inviting every school pupil in Penicuik, just over 2,500 across the town’s primary and secondary schools, to sketch or jot down their suggestions on a Paper Chain person. These will be collected and shown in the town hall as part a massive Penicuik Paper Chain of ideas; big and small. It will reveal the number of young folk in the town, and their hopes for the future of their place.

“We hope fresh ideas from young folk in the town can inspire everyone passionate about Penicuik to contribute. What should a Town Hall for today and tomorrow be like? A welcoming place for folk to come together? A building, an open space, a website? Or all of these and more?”

The project is being launched in schools across Penicuik this week. And a day of free workshops will take place in Penicuik Town Hall next Wednesday (April 4) from 10am to 5pm, with an open invitation to everyone to drop by and have fun sharing creative ideas. It is intended to exhibit the ideas as part of a massive ‘Penicuik Paper Chain’ in the town hall later in the spring.

If you want further information you can download A Town Hall for All pack online at www.austinsmithlord.com/wp-content/uploads/A- Town-Hall- For-All- Lesson-Pack.pdf