£3.4 million for our communities

£3.4 Borders Railway funding

Major funding packages totalling £3.4 million have been secured to revitalise the centre of Gorebridge and turn a disused building at Newtongrange railway station into a community space and bistro.

The Borders Railway Blueprint is match funding

The Borders Railway Blueprint Programme, set up to maximise the economic opportunities of the line supported by £10 million of Scottish Government money, agreed match funding of £1,038,000 for ‘Gorebridge Connected’ and a further £191,000 for the Newtongrange, Track2Train initiative.

The total funding packages come ot £3.437 million

The Blueprint commitments bring the total amount to be invested in both projects from various sources to £3.437 million.

The Blueprint vision is bearing fruit

Humza Yousaf Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “The Borders Railway Blueprint Group vision of making Midlothian and the Scottish Borders great places to live, work, learn and visit is bearing fruit. This latest Scottish Government investment at Gorebridge and Newtongrange is clear evidence of this and demonstrates how multi-agency teams can bring transformational change to the communities served by the railway.” 

Getting the funding sources in place has been a challenge

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Russell Imrie said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to get both of these projects over the line financially. An awful lot of people from both within the council and our partner agencies, including neighbouring authorities along the Borders Railway line and ScotRail, have worked extremely hard to tap into various funding sources.

We are keen to get started

“We’re keen now to get cracking and get these projects underway for the benefit of our local communities.”

More about the Gorebridge project

Prepared by the council in partnership with Gorebridge Community Development Trust, Gorebridge Connected will see:

  • The former Gorebridge Railway Station House redeveloped into a cafe, gallery and office space, creating 4-5 full time jobs with a year and 10-15 employment opportunities in the two upstairs offices;
  • Hunter Square enhanced;
  • The development of a heritage and signage project to connect Hunter Square and Gorebridge train station with other parts of Gorebridge and beyond.

It is great news for the Gorebridge community

The chair of Gorebridge Trust, Stephanie Walker said: “The realisation of the Gorebridge Connected project is wonderful news for the community of Gorebridge.  The Trust set out with a small focus group 2 years ago to consider possibilities for the Station House following the opening of the Borders Railway. Today, the ideas and creativity generated by this committed group of volunteers has come to life and will offer many opportunities for the whole community. Trust looks forward to working with the partners of the project as the project gets underway.”

Track2Train will redevelop a building at Newtongrange Station

The council is also 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.

The hub will be a community space

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 and those at risk of offending.

The projects could change lives

Lindley Kirkpatrick, the ScotRail Alliance’s Borders Railway Programme Executive said: “The Borders Railway has been a huge success, forging closer links between communities in the Borders and Midlothian, as well creating a wealth of employment and tourism opportunities.

“We’re delighted that these projects will be going ahead, which will create opportunities and change lives here in Midlothian.”

New jobs will be created

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.

There will be a cafe on the ground floor

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.

Track2Train is a major social enterprise venture

The Chief Executive of Apex Scotland, Alan Staff said: “Apex Scotland is committed to providing the best possible opportunities for people to break free from their past and gain excellent employment and employability skills.  Track2Train is our second major social enterprise venture joining All Cleaned Up in offering real jobs and on site training in a commercial setting, a model which we have seen deliver great results.  We are so excited by the potential of the Newtongrange initiative not only in improving the life chances of those we work with but also enhancing the community and providing a valuable service to all.”

 From left to right are: Marie Arthur of Newbyres Nursery in Gorebridge, the nursery received a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) grant, Stephanie Walker and Michaela Jackson both of the Gorebridge Trust, CARS project manager Rod Lugg, Grant Ballantine, Midlothian Council's lead conservation officer, Patrick Nicol, Alan Staff and Dodie Piddock, all of Apex Scotland and Lindley Kirkpatrick, the ScotRail Alliance’s Borders Railway Programme Executive. In front are, from left to right, Midlothian Council's cabinet member for economic development, Cllr Russell Imrie and Humza Yousaf Minister for Transport and the Islands with Jack Hardie, 4, Oliver Green, 4, and Calli Halleran, 4, all of Newbyres Nursery. 

More information about the funding

Funding for Gorebridge Connected (Heritage Square enhancement, railway cafe and gallery, link project):

  • Scottish Govt Blueprint match funding of £1,038,000.
  • Developer contributions: £150,000
  • Tyne & Esk LEADER fund: £200,000
  • Heritage Railway Trust: £135,000
  • A further £980,000 had already been approved for the Gorebridge Conservation Area Renewal Scheme (CARS).
  • Midlothian Council: £220,000
  • Historic Environment Scotland: £665,000
  • Coalfields Regeneration Trust: £4,500
  • Owner contributions: £70,500
  • Climate Challenge Fund: £20,000
  • Total: £2,503,000.

Track2Train funding:

  • Scottish Govt 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
  • Tyne & Esk LEADER fund: £177,000
  • Total: £934,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Nov 2017