The Cuckoo is no longer publishing but you can continue to enjoy our old articles.
© Penicuik Community Development Trust

Museum Plans Shortlisted for Funding

The Penicuik Community Development Trust’s plans for a paper making heritage centre have been shortlisted in a national funding competition.

DIY retailer Jewson’s ‘Building Better Communities’ competition is giving one lucky project the chance to win up to £50,000 to enable improvements to a local asset. Included in the shortlist for Scotland, is the Penicuik Community Development Trust’s plans to operate a museum and heritage centre from their Pen-Y-Coe Press shop off Bridge Street.

Penicuik’s former Post Office, which closed in 1964, has been operating as a stationery shop and printers for several decades. To facilitate the Wallace family’s retirement, the building at 1, 5 and 7 Bridge Street was acquired by benefactors on behalf of the local Community Development Trust. It is their intention to convert the, so called, “Pen-Y-Coe Press” into a paper-making museum and heritage centre for the town.

To facilitate their ambitious plans, a large initial outlay is required to bring the building up to modern day standards and to install the relevant display cabinets for its operation. Up until recently, the trust has been fundraising and using goodwill donations to push ahead, however given the opportunity to apply to Jewson’s competition, they are now faced with the ability to complete their works within the year.

The funding hangs on the community’s support, with the DIY retailer asking the public to vote online for their favourite project through the social networking site, Facebook. A regional winner will then be selected, winning between £1,000 and £5,000, alongside a national winner, who could walk away with £50,000.

On the voting website, the trust says:

We want to create a Papermaking Heritage Centre to give children an understanding of the magical process of papermaking, to rebuild civic pride by celebrating Penicuik’s glorious past, and to attract visitors to the town centre.

Last year, planning permission was gained allowing the owners to convert the building into a museum. It also permits the creation of a foyer and wheelchair friendly entrance door and layout.

The works are slated to cost £42,500 and could be completed by early Autumn. An audio-visual display gallery in 5 Bridge Street will be completed imminently, utilising donations from both the Penicuik Historical Society and the Royal Scottish Museum, who have gratefully given some display cabinets.

As of Tuesday 12 May, at the time of writing, the project has 209 votes putting it fourth in Scotland and sixteenth in the UK. To obtain some funding it must be first in Scotland and to win the grand £50,000 prize it must be first in the UK. Click the button below to go to the voting page, but be quick, voting closes on the 31 May.

[button style=’purple’ url=’’ fullwidth=’true’]Click here to visit the voting page[/button]