A Country park which hosts the endurance event Tough Mudder is set to undergo a multi-million pound transformation after council chiefs backed overhaul plans.
The investment will usher in a new era in Dalkeith Country Park’s 300-year history by replacing and relocating its popular adventure playground within the grounds and providing new retail and food units.
Stage one of the ambitious £3.5 million redevelopment has gone out to tender, with a main contractor expected to be appointed by early September.
The initial works involve the full refurbishment and development of the historical Stableyard, the surrounding listed orangery and amphitheatre and a new adventure playground.
An “improved” cafe and restaurant will also feature, alongside a farm shop, bakery and other shops, with the preferred operating partner due to be announced soon.
The wider park will include extra activities for families, while the facelift is expected to create around 35 jobs and help conserve historic buildings on the estate.
Iain Herbert, visitor services manager for Dalkeith Country Estate, said: “We are thrilled that our plans to revamp the park have been given the seal of approval.
“As well as creating jobs, this significant investment will play an important part in facilitating economic development and growth in the region.
“Since the planning application was submitted back in February, we have been canvassing views via an online survey and are continuing to liaise with key stakeholders and partners including Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Scotland.
“Our next step will be an open day in August where we will be in a position to share more of our plans in detail with the local community.”
Midlothian Council has approved the plans.
Councillor Jim Bryant, cabinet member for planning and development, said: “Dalkeith Country Park is a great asset to our local community and provides both visitors and locals with a beautiful spot to enjoy the great outdoors. It is also the venue for many large-scale events, such as Tough Mudder, which brings a wealth of visitors to our area.
“In fact, this year, we’re looking forward to a bumper year at our second Midfest Festival with some events taking place in the park. We are delighted to be working in partnership with both the park and Historic Scotland to bring these redevelopment plans to fruition.”
Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council are supportive of the plans, and have been closely consulted on restoration work, bridges, landscaping and listed buildings.