Queen’s land gift brings village hall dream closer

It is hoped Rosewell Steading will host a cafe, soft play space, IT area and gym. Picture: Colin Hattersley
It is hoped Rosewell Steading will host a cafe, soft play space, IT area and gym. Picture: Colin Hattersley
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A LOTHIAN village is set to create a new community hall and retail units in a £2 million project after being gifted land by the Queen.

The development will be built in the heart of Rosewell, in Midlothian, and residents hope the scheme will reinvigorate the centre of the village.

The Rosewell Development Trust has spearheaded plans for the community hub, and hope it will feature a cafe, a soft play facility for toddlers, a large function hall, IT suite and a gym area to support its Healthy Living project.

A number of local businesses have also expressed an interest in basing themselves at the site.

The Crown Estate has now transferred more than a hectare of land – known as Rosewell Steading – to the trust so construction work can begin.

Dave Mackay, director of the Rosewell Development Trust, said: “This is a major boost for the community of Rosewell. Thanks to the invaluable support we have had from the Crown Estate, our vision of creating a new purpose-built community hub within the village has taken a major step forward towards reality.

“Having the land in our ownership means we can now approach major funders. There is still a lot of hard work to be done, but with continued support from the Crown Estate, our community and our many other supporters, I am confident we can achieve our goal.”

The first stage of the development will see the existing buildings cleared from the site, and land prepared for construction.

Rosewell village sits within the Whitehill Estate, which was purchased in 1969 from the National Coal Board and is managed by the Crown Estate.

Whitehill Estate, which includes much of the land around Rosewell, lies south of Bonnyrigg, Lasswade and Rosslyn and contains five tenant farms.

Alan Laidlaw, the Crown Estate’s rural and coastal portfolio manager in Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have worked alongside the trust as they have developed their community vision.

“We’ve provided advice and expertise to help bring their plans to fruition and this has now culminated in the transfer of the site into their ownership.

“The trust’s plans to provide a community hub along with space for commercial activity fits with our aim to support communities to create sustainable futures.

“Rosewell is a village of just over 1500 people but there are ambitious plans to attract businesses to the new hub as well as working with existing industry and community interests.

“We look forward to continuing to help the Trust realise their vision.”

Councillor Jim Bryant, Midlothian’s economic development and tourism leader, said: “We’re a strong supporter of the Rosewell Development Trust and look forward to working with them further as they continue with this excellent initiative which will help Rosewell become an even better place to live.”

The Crown Estate manages a diverse £8 billion portfolio across the UK and pays all revenue profit to the UK Government. In 2012-13, this totalled £252.6m.