Newtongrange Community Space and Bistro
The builders are on site and the sledgehammers are swinging as work is underway to transform a disused building at Newtongrange railway station into a community space and bistro.
The £934,000 project is part of a major funding package of £3.4 million, including an investment by the Borders Railway Blueprint Programme, to revitalise Newtongrange and Gorebridge.
Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development Councillor Russell Imrie 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.
The hub will be a community space. Apex Scotland works with people who have barriers to employment and are at risk of offending.
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 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.
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 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."