Comment: Gorebridge plans ignore young population

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MIDLOTHIAN Council proposals to close both the library and leisure centre in Gorebridge have failed to take into account the booming young population in the village, according to one campaign group

When Midlothian Council put a proposal forward to close the library and leisure centre in Gorebridge, it is fair to say at first there was stunned disbelief. The last two remaining council services were on the table for demolition.

Having demolished Greenhall High School and Community Centre, which in its heyday included the secondary school, a swimming pool, night classes, a technical learning centre for the YTS, summer schools for the kids; having fenced off the Gala Day field in the middle of the village because of unstable mine workings for ten years and with the iconic Brown Building also on the agenda for closure and demolition, it seemed the only service that was to remain in Gorebridge was the school.

Given that there is a 70 per cent increase in housing, the rationale is hard to justify or believe.

In 2008, with much heraldry, a new hub was planned which would be the replacement for the Brown Building and also for some of the facilities lost when Greenhall Community Centre closed.

If you can imagine – you decide to build your very own house, are dreaming about living there, but just before you begin to build it, you are told that all the neighbours in your street are moving in with you, you will get an idea of what is happening.

Suddenly, this hub is to be all things to all men.

Instead of a replacement to the Brown Building, it is to replace the Brown Building, the library, the leisure centre – and if they could get the school in, too, that would be included.

But luckily, the young population of Gorebridge is zooming well past the 2000 mark – the fastest growing under-19s in Midlothian – so they wouldn’t all fit in. Just one last point, it won’t be ready until 2015.

• The Gorebridge Cares campaign group was set up to help save services in the village