Track 2 Train to transform Newtongrange railway station

Newtongrange Apex initiative

Newtongrange railway station to be transformed

A project to turn a disused building at Newtongrange railway station into a hub with a bistro, training kitchen, learning centre and business space is to benefit from a £360,000 cash injection from the Scottish government.

Track 2 Train is among 29 community projects across Scotland to secure a Regeneration Capital Grant. The fund supports initiatives that engage and involve communities.

Collaboration with the council, Track 2 Train, Apex Scotland and Abellio ScotRail

The capital project will be led by a professional team with leadership, governance, financial expertise and community engagement provided by Track 2 Train, Apex Scotland, Midlothian Council and Abellio ScotRail.

This project directly supports the regional Borders Railway Masterplanning programme. A key part of this programme is to provide attractive places to visit as well as support services for local visitor attractions, such as the National Mining Museum. The project will also directly support the priorities in Midlothian Single Plan by reducing inequalities in economic circumstances and education by offering employment and training opportunities.

Creation of jobs

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

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 total cost of work to transform the derelict building is £785,000. As well as the £360,000, a further £260,000 will come from Borders Railway Blueprint partnership fund, which seeks to maximise economic benefits from the new Borders Railway. A total of £80,000 has also come from the Railway Heritage Trust. Other funding sources are being pursued.

Support for the project

A spokesman for Midlothian Council, which secured the £360,000 funding, said: “The funding announcement is a major investment in this exciting partnership project.

“We’re working with Track 2 Train, a charity established by and closely associated with Apex Scotland, to redevelop the building, which is currently owned by Network Rail.

“The hub will be a great community space and, through Apex Scotland, which works with people in the criminal justice system, it will also offer excellent training opportunities for ex-offenders.

Scotrail and Apex Scotland glad to be on board

Lindley Kirkpatrick, ScotRail’s Borders Railway Programme Executive said: “ScotRail are pleased that this important funding milestone for the project has been reached, and look forward to working with Track2Train and Midlothian Council to see this exciting project come to life. It represents yet another way that the Borders Railway is improving communities in Midlothian.”

 Alan Staff, Apex Scotland Chief Executive, said:"Apex Scotland is delighted that a significant milestone in the development of this exciting new venture has been reached.  Track 2 Train, our latest social enterprise, represents an innovative partnership between the Scottish Government, ScotRail Alliance, Midlothian Council and Apex which will not only meet the charitable aims of Apex in developing work related skills in our client group but bring real benefit to the local community and the economy."

21 Mar 2017