Businesses can now apply for funding from Coronavirus Restrictions Fund (updated 20 October)
Support funding is now available for businesses in Scotland affected by the temporary Coronavirus (COVID-19) brake restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020.
The closing date for the scheme is Tuesday 3 November at 5pm.
Business Closure Fund
The Scottish Government Funds are being administered by local councils, with one-off grants available for hospitality and other businesses required to close by the brake restrictions regulations.
- £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000
- £3,000 for businesses with a RV over £51,001
Business Hardship Fund
This fund is to support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close. It is also a two-tier scheme:
- £1,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000
- £1,500 for businesses with a RV over £51,001
More details and how to apply:
Coronavirus Restrictions Business Fund (updated 16 October 3pm)
The Scottish Government has announced funding for businesses in Scotland affected by the temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020. The new and temporary business support funds will be administered by local authorities, providing one-off grants to businesses directly impacted by these restrictions.
Business Closure Fund
This fund will be available to hospitality and other businesses required to close (except for takeaway) by these new restrictions regulations.
You can apply from Tuesday 20 October.
It is a two-tier scheme:
- £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of under £51,000
- £3,000 for businesses with a RV over £51,000
- An upper limit of £15,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises.
Business Hardship Fund
This fund is to support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close. It is also a two-tier scheme.
- £1,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of under £51,000
- £1,500 for businesses with a RV over £51,000
- An upper limit of £10,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises.
- More information on the Coronavirus Restrictions Business Fund
How to apply
You can apply online from 9am on Tuesday 20 October.
Free School Meals and Clothing Grants update (9 October - 22 December 2020)
Currently, BACS payments are set up for those families who qualified for free school meals based on criteria applied during the lockdown and summer period. However, a number of changes are due to take place.
Grants available for some people who self-isolating
If you are told by the Test and Protect Service to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum.
Further local restrictions starting Friday 9 October from 6pm
Local coronavirus restrictions for the central belt, including Midlothian, come into force at 6pm this evening (Friday). They will be in place up to and including Sunday 25 October.
Gyms and swiming pools will remain open
Please remember that gyms and swimming pools can remain open although you must book in advance. Group physical activities for people under the age of 18 years are also permitted in our leisure centres.
Library update - 8 October - Penicuik Library
Penicuik Library is reopening for Reserve and Collect customers, all returns, bus pass enquiries, and pre-booked public computer use (and printing and photocopying) on Thursday 8 October.
On reopening, Penicuik Library will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11am to 4pm.
Exams: 7 October announcement
The Deputy First Minister has today (Tuesday) announced a number of measures for the awarding of National Courses at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in 2020–21. We will be reviewing these new measures and updating parents and carers about what it means for local pupils as soon as we can.
Further restrictions: 7 October announcement
The Scottish Government has announced additional targeted restrictions for the Lothians that take effect from Friday at 6pm and will be in place up to, and including, Sunday 25 October.
The restrictions mean all licensed premises across central Scotland, with the exception of hotels for residents, will be required to close. Takeaways are permitted.
Cafes without an alcohol licence will be able to stay open until 6pm.
Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys and bingo halls will also close in Midlothian for two weeks from 10 October.
Businesses seeking advice and guidance can contact Environmental Health at: [email protected]
There will be no travel ban but people living in the central belt are urged to avoid public transport unless it is "absolutely necessary" (e.g. going to school or work) and are advised not to travel outside of the Lothian health board area, if they do not need to.
Our gyms are still open for individual exercise, as are our swimming pools, although sessions must be booked in advance.
- Find out more about Tonezone gyms including how to book
- Find out more about swimming sessions including how to book
Group fitness classes and contact sports for customers aged 18 and over will be suspended.
The current rules around indoor group exercises for under 18s will remain in place.
Outdoor live events are not permitted for the next two weeks.
Exercise classes from Monday 14 September
You can now book online for fitness classes at our centres although please note all fitness classes are being suspended from 6pm on Friday 9 October up until, and including, Sunday 25 October.
Dalkeith and Newtongrange Libraries
Dalkeith has extended its opening hours until 6.30pm on Tuesdays and from 10.30-12.30pm on Saturdays.
Newtongrange Library reopened on Monday 7 September.
Music tuition letter to parents and carers dated 3 September
A letter has been sent to parents and carers with a further update on music tuition plans on 3 September.
Tonezone gyms and pools
We reopened our Tonezone gyms on Monday 31 August (Danderhall sessions start date TBC). Bookings must be made in advance and restrictions will be in place. Swimming pools are open on a limited timetable from Monday 7 September. Bookings must be made in advance.
- Find out more about Tonezone gyms including how to book
- Find out more about swimming sessions including how to book
Instrumental music tuition reminder
A letter has been sent to parents and carers to say pupils studying for an SQA Music qualification will be offered online tuition and one-to-one lessons where possible. We expect further national guidance about music tuition during the term. For all other children and young people, lessons will start again week beginning Monday 26 October, after the mid-term break.
Free school meals update (11 August)
We would like to clarify the position with BACS payments for those entitled to free school meals:
Currently, BACS payments are set up for those families who qualified for free school meals based on the criteria applied during the lockdown and summer period. As of the start of the new academic session ALL P1-3 children are entitled to free school meals. Due to an IT issue, it has not been possible to introduce the BACS payment system for ALL P1-3 children. Therefore:
- From Monday 17 August, ALL P1-3 children will be provided with a packed lunch from our school meals service- until then they should bring a packed lunch to school
- This can be ordered on a weekly basis, with further information about the ordering system being issued by the end of this week by your child’s school.
- For all other children and young people from P4-S6 who are entitled to free school meals, BACS payments will continue until Friday 18 September and they should continue to bring a packed lunch to school until then or are advised otherwise.
Please contact your child’s school if you have any further questions or concerns about the provision of school lunches.
School transport update (11 August)
We have sent letters to all pupils travelling to school by public or school transport. If you’ve not received the letter please email:
- [email protected] with your child’s name, date of birth and school.
We will contact you today (Tuesday).
Please note if your child was entitled to FREE school transport last year (i.e, you didn’t have to pay) and is still at the same school then the same arrangements will be in place. In this instance, contact the bus operator for pick up times. Many thanks for your patience.
Here is a reminder of more general information about school transport arrangements such as face coverings and physical distancing.
Early learning and childcare update (10 August)
A letter dated 10 August as been sent to parents and carers with further information about the return to school Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Centres on 12 August and our commitment to delivering the 1140 hours per year of ELC just as soon as possible.
School transport update (6 August)
A letter has been sent to parents and carers about school transport including information on physical distancing and face coverings.
Schools reopening (6 August update)
A letter has been sent to parents and carers with further details about arrangements for schools to reopen, including lunches, drop-off and pick-ups and uniforms.
Schools reopening update (Tuesday 4 August)
We have more information about arrangements for schools reopening on 12 August.
Early learning and childcare update (Tuesday 4 August)
We have more information for parents and carers about reopening our local authority childcare settings and providing 1140 hours of early learning.
Updated 16 July 2020
Midlothian libraries are returning!
The Midlothian Library service will be resuming on Monday 27 July, with Dalkeith Library the first branch to be reopened. Other branches will open as soon as it is possible to do so after this date.
Council tenants encouraged to change the way they pay their rent
Council house tenants in Midlothian are being asked to look at changing the way they pay their rent and Council Tax. Because the council’s payments counter at Buccleuch House in Dalkeith is currently closed, tenants are being asked to switch to direct debit, or to look at other payment methods.
Partnership jobs and training pledge to counter impact of COVID-19
The Midlothian Community Planning Partnership has made a commitment to support local jobseekers caught up in the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Members of the partnership, which comprises representatives from Midlothian Council, a range of public agencies, colleges, voluntary organisations, business and community groups, have signed a pledge committing it to maximising efforts to support residents who are out of work or new to the jobs market.
Update 9 July 2020
Council halts plans for new depot in Bonnyrigg
The economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to review how local services are provided in the future, has led Midlothian Council to conclude that it should not proceed with plans for a new depot and offices at the Hopefield site in Bonnyrigg.
New Locate in Midlothian website
If you’re looking to start a new business venture, grow your existing company, relocate with your family or simply want to visit the area, the newly launched Locate in Midlothian website gives you all the tools, support and information you need.
Updated 26 June 2020
Councillors have approved a local ‘route map’ through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early learning and childcare 1140 hours expansion plans
Here is an update on the early learning and childcare 1140 hours expansion plans in the light of yesterday's Scottish Government announcement that childcare settings may reopen from 15 July (date subject to confirmation).
The Scottish Government has advised us that birth registration can now resume. The procedure to register a birth has changed to accommodate physical distancing, so this will be strictly by appointment only.
Please note that parking attendants, who were doing other duties during the initial lockdown period, are currently back on the streets providing warning notices. Enforcement will begin again on Monday 29 June.
Free school meals
We are continuing to provide free school meals to our most vulnerable families over the summer.
Updated 23 June 2020
Response to the Depute First Minister's statement about schools reopening
We have responded to today's announcement by John Swinney.
Economic Renewal Strategy launched
An ambitious new Economic Renewal Strategy has been approved for Midlothian, with the aim of protecting jobs, preserving business and tackling the adverse economic impact of COVID-19.
The Strategy sets out our partnership approach to managing the transition from lockdown and planning for the longer term challenges the local economy will face.
- Read more about our Economic Renewal Strategy
- View or download the Economic Renewal Strategy (addendum to the Economic Growth Strategy 2020-2025
Updated 18 June 2020
The Scottish Government advises priority registrars services, such as some ceremonies including outdoor weddings, can resume form 29 June 2020.
Updated 16 June 2020
Councillors have held their first remote full Council meeting today (Tuesday). Among the reports approved was a Midlothian Route Map through and out of the coronavirus crisis.
Updated 13 June 2020
A reminder that vans and trailers of household waste can use the Stobhill Recycling Centre from Monday 15 June. This is by appointment only.
Updated 12 June 2020
Parents and carers have been sent a letter with updated information about returning to school.
Updated 1 June 2020
Vogrie Country Park is open from 10am until gates close at 6pm. Toilets and the car park are open from 10am until 4pm.
Schools update (29 May)
A letter has been sent to all parents and carers around arrangements to reopen schools. There are also more details about transition arrangements for P1s and P7s.
Stobhill Recycling Centre to reopen
Just a reminder that while Stobhill Recycling Centre is reopening at 9.30am on Monday 1 June, it is likely to be busy over coming days and weeks. If you can’t continue to safely store your recycling at home then please sort materials before arriving. We’re also asking customers to have a look at the site plan before you come.
Grass cutting (22 May)
Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan thanks our Land & Countryside teams for a sterling effort to catch up with grass cutting during the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the new teams, many of whom had come from other services in the council to help, had their work cut out tackling some areas due to the length of the grass.
However, the backlog is all but finished and workers will now be maintaining all areas, including public parks and open spaces. Land services will now prioritise weed killing, cutting back weeds and grass verges, he added. Given that some of the teams are new, if we’ve missed any areas then please email details to:
Update for parents and carers about schools reopening (21 May)
Plans are already well underway to re-open schools in Midlothian and today’s publication of the Scottish Government’s ‘Strategic Framework for Reopening Schools and ELC Settings in Scotland’ gives further clarity on progressing those, including arrangements for the return of specific groups of children in late June to support transition.
All ELC settings should continue to provide childcare for key worker families only until further notice.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that schools will reopen on Tuesday 11 August, which is earlier than our planned date of 19 August.
We will be sharing an update on reopening and transition arrangements with staff, parents and carers as soon as we have them. A key priority is to ensure the safety of our children, young people and staff.
In the meantime, you can read more information of the First Minister’s plans for schools on the BBC website here.
- Stobhill Recycling Centre will re-open on Monday 1 June, subject to the Scottish Government easing the lockdown.
- Penicuik Recycling Centre will remain closed for safety reasons.
For more details read our household waste recycling centres page.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) - support for Midlothian Council’s Carers
At what is such an unsure and uncertain time, we would like to say we are extremely proud of all our carers.
Our thanks go to every one of you as you continue to provide a high standard of care and support to many children in fostering, kinship and adoptive families.
Midlothian Council is keen to ensure you continue to receive the supports you need to keep your families well and support our children to navigate and grow during this challenging time.
The Family Placement Team continues to work and we are committed to maintaining our contact with you via telephone and virtual supervision.
If you need anything further please be reassured we are here and you can call us on 0131 271 3413 where someone is always available. In addition we will continue to get news out to you via email and our newsletter. Stay Safe.
Message of thanks from Council Leader and Chief Executive
Hardship fund for the newly self-employed
Newly self-employed people who are suffering hardship during the current Covid-19 crisis can now apply for grant funding.
- Find out more about this and other support available to businesses
Ring & Go timetable
Just a reminder that the Ring & Go timetable between Pathhead and Dalkeith extended on Friday 24 April.
Council Leader and Chief Executive thank staff and volunteers
If you are self-isolating with someone who is harming you then don't wait to get help.
School progress reports (28 April)
Grass cutting (27 April update)
We’re now able to resume some grass cutting although not large, open spaces. Instead, the focus will be on verges adjacent to footpaths or pavements to allow people to see oncoming traffic, socially distance and cross safely. Grass on core paths and rights of way will also be cut to make sure everyone using those areas can observe social distancing. Grass at hub centres, where staff are caring for the children of key workers and vulnerable children, will also be cut.
Support for children starting early learning and school or leaving school (27 April)
We want children and young people making the move into early learning, primary or secondary school or leaving school to have the most positive experience possible during the pandemic.
Update for parents and carers 24 April
We have responded to the SQA about determining exam results in 2020.
We're reminding motorists not to drive to Vogrie Country Park. The car park is closed and will remain so.
Glass collections stared again on Monday 27 April.
Parents and carers 17 April update
We have written to parents and carers about our summer term.
An end of week thanks.
A message of thanks for clapping for health and social care staff.
A message of thank you and an important reminder from the Council Leader, Derek Milligan, and the Chief Executive, Dr Grace Vickers
From the Chief Executive, Dr Grace Vickers
An important message on social-distancing and social-isolation measures.
A thank you to Midlothian from Council Leader Derek Milligan and Chef Executive Dr Grace Vickers.
Councillor Derek Milligan and Dr Grace Vickers announce more funding for volunteers.
Councillor Derek Milligan and Dr Grace Vickers announce more funding for foodbanks.
Councillor Derek Milligan and Dr Grace Vickers thank communities and staff for an heroic effort.
Councillor Derek Milligan and Dr Grace Vickers urge people to adhere to social distancing measures in a bid to save lives.
The Chief Executive, Dr Grace Vickers thanks everyone for the fantastic work supporting communities and NHS as part of our #KindnessMidlothian campaign.
Further to the Prime Minister’s message on Tuesday 23 March, the Chief Executive Dr Grace Vickers thanks the many Midlothian residents who are stepping up and adhering to the social distancing measures.
Further to the Prime Minister’s message, the Chief Executive Dr Grace Vickers is urging all Midlothian Residents to follow his instruction.
Critical services only
The council has moved to critical service delivery only and will now focus on our core statutory duties.
To enable this, the council is suspending responses to enquiries or complaints about how we provide services and will instead be focusing our efforts to prioritise our statutory services, care for the vulnerable, cooperate with our Resilience Partners and support economic recovery.
Bin collections and recycling
Glass collections had been suspended but started again on Monday 27 April. Brown bin collections remain suspended. The paid for garden-waste collection service season will be extended. Bulky uplifts were suspended on Monday 16 March, although bookings made before that should be honoured. The Recycling Centres closed from Wednesday 25 March until further notice.
Help and advice for the self-employed and businesses, including the latest grant information.
Council Tax and benefits
We understand you may be worried about money.
Advice for tenants on how to request an emergency repair and concerns over rent payments.
Deaths, ceremonies and births
To protect public health and in line with national guidance, the Registration Service has had to make some changes to the service.
Until further notice schools are closed with exceptions, including Saltersgate. We are now organising childcare for the families of staff of Lothians Category 1 key workers, more details of which are on the education update pages.
Health and social care
While our offices are closed to the public, we are continuing to deliver vital care for vulnerable people, including children and adults.
We are continuing to support people who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless.
Libraries, leisure centres and parks
Libraries and leisure centres are now closed. Our main parks including Vogrie Country Park, currently remain open although all outdoor equipped play areas are shut and should not be used. Please note any car parks for our country parks will be closed, including Vogrie. Please do not come in your car.
Public buildings and payments
Midlothian House, Fairfield House and Buccleuch House are now closed to the public until further notice. Housing related documents and forms can be put in the postbox in front of Midlothian House.
Payments can be made:
- Direct debit – call 0131 271 3201
- Debit/Credit Card – online or telephone 0131 660 1845
- Payment Card – any Post Office, Paypoint or Payzone outlet.
Daily national health updates
There are now many confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Scotland with a number in the Lothians.
The Department of Health and Social Care will publish updated UK data on Coronavirus (COVID-19) every day at 2pm until further notice.
After 2pm, the Scottish Government will publish an update on the situation in Scotland.
This page will be updated when further guidance is received from Health Protection Scotland, and NHS Lothian.
Find latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government including social distancing and stay at home advice.
If you’ve developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.
You should only phone 111 if your symptoms:
- have not improved after 7 days
- are severe or you have shortness of breath
- worsen during home isolation
You should also phone 111 if you develop breathlessness or it worsens, especially if you:
- are 70 years old or over
- have underlying poor health
- have heart or lung problems
- have a weakened immune system, including cancer
- have diabetes
If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have COVID-19 symptoms.
As germs can live on some surfaces for hours, protect yourself and others by:
- Using tissues to catch coughs or sneezes
- Binning the used tissue and, to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser gel.
For the latest information, please visit NHS Inform.
Easy read and accessible Coronavirus health information
- Coronavirus health advice in BSL
- Easy read Coronavirus health advice
- Coronavirus advice for gypsy travellers
- Speech, reading and translation tools for our website