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Change On The Agenda

A local organisation is hoping for change after launching an online petition to improve Penicuik’s town centre.

It’s the second petition that aims to change Penicuik for the better we have mentioned in the past month but this one takes aim at improving Penicuik’s town centre through a series of renovations, new builds and marketing schemes.

The Pen-Y-Cog Group have been consulting with the Penicuik’s online community over the past year and have compiled an eight point petition that they hope to submit to Midlothian Council before the year’s end.

The petition itself focuses on the town centre and especially the creation of a ‘Community Hub’ that was given a great amount of support when first suggested in 2012. Since then the organisation has compiled draft plans for a hub that would include a 2/3 size cinema screen, café, market hall, gallery, local concessions and a gallery. Whilst funding does not exist for such a development the local group hopes that through a variety of funding initiatives and fundraisers, Midlothian Council would be able to raise the capital to erect the building on vacant land at 52 Jackson Street.

Other physical aims include facade improvements to the majority of Penicuik’s Shopping Precinct, similar to that of Dalkeith’s newly improved high street, and a trial of a weekly or monthly farmers market. The e-petition also suggests the creation of two local marketing campaigns for both new start-ups and nationwide companies entitled “Prosperous Penicuik” and “Start-Up Penicuik”. The idea of a help fund is also raised that could be used to save loved businesses from closure.

Thomas Scott of The Pen-Y-Cog Group told us:

After consulting with a number of residents, it was agreed that with a lack of support from Midlothian Council, the people of Penicuik should regain the right to plan our own town. Cheap and fast building techniques within Penicuik’s ‘town centre’ have lead to a loss of Penicuik’s character and historical aspects and we feel that these need brought back regardless of cost.

The petition can be signed online here.