Treat Penicuik Fairly And Help Improve Our Town

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Treat Penicuik Fairly And Help Improve Our Town

This petition had 164 supporters
Pen-Y-Cog Group started this petition to Midlothian Council (Midlothian Council)

After years of Penicuik being treated as a lesser town by Midlothian Council, it is time that we stand up to make them recognise that we are the largest town in the county. We have had enough of the constant expenditure improving other toowns instead of trying to stabilise Penicuik and the moment has come for change. 

Whilst there are many areas of Penicuik that we would love to petition for, there is one place that requires a lot of tender love and care; the town centre.

Penicuik - a town of which previously had great industries: coal mining, paper and crystal making - now lies barren. Community spirit strugles in the gutter. However there is a flicker of hope. A town of circa 20,000 residents pushes through, even with a lack of support from a failing council, and achieves great things. We have residents who achieve honours from HRH such as Bryan Finlay. Residents who strive to improve the environment such as Chris Leavy. Residents who create websites to keep the community up to date such as Craig Hodge and his Penicuik What's On website. The list goes on and on. Surely this calls for a better town centre, that captures the imagination, creativity and determination of the community and truly displays it in a manner that we would be proud of.

So come on Penicuik let's make ourselves heard; for we have a lot to shout about.

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Whilst there is a wide financial aspect to any plans for a town, especially in todays climate, we have compiled a list of a number of things that we would like to see investigated further. This does not necessarily mean that everything mentioned below will come to fruition but if you sign the petition, and you encourage your friends also, they stand a better chance than they would if you didn't sign:

1. After a consultation with the public earlier last year, we have decided to include the erection of a Community Hub in our petition aims. In our opinion such a development is needed to reunite the community. This would be located in a central area and would be open to all. In our plans we have used the land at 52 Jackson Street as the basis for the CH. The public decided that such a development should have a cinema, café, market hall, community spaces, a gallery, museum and areas for local businesses. Our plans have included all of these on the site and the plans can be viewed here. We feel that such a development as a community hub would be a great start to the redevelopment of the town centre and would allow great scope for the town centre to be marketed as the place to entertain and be entertained in high class establishments.

2. As mentioned above we would be looking at redeveloping the town centre (the area which is currently the shopping precinct). This is because currently there is a great mixture of properties and somewhere along the line the true 'Penicuik' has been lost. Redevelopment would not affect the road network or any listed buildings or new builds. We ask that a series of consultation meetings are called to discuss such a development in accordance with the following points: any changes to buildings would not affect the building as a whole but only the facade and associated features, these changes would be sympathetic to the materials used in the construction of properties within the conservation zone, landscaping will play a key part in any redevelopment proposals (including areas for artwork relating to Penicuik's past) and appropriate spacing will be allocated to car parks with scope for coach spaces and these car parks would be landscaped so that they do not industrialise the town. We have uploaded draft plans to our website ad these can be viewed here.

3. Regardless of point two, two marketing campaigns should be introduced to the area. One, which targets national businesses, would aim to bring larger companies in to kickstart vital parts of the economy and would provide a source of income to weaker local businesses (see point four). We could envisage such a campaign being named 'Prosperous Penicuik'. Another, which targets the local community, would aim to get the public to fulfil their dreams and open a business in Penicuik's soon to be bustling town centre. We could envisage such a campaign being named 'Set Up Penicuik'.

4. Also regardless of point two, a town wide fund should be set up which would mean that suceeding businesses contribute a small percentage of any profits to help businesses that are struggling to pay rent etc. However if a business did suceed in turning around it would have to then contribute some of their profits to help other struggling businesses and then the cycle would repeat. It would be a regemented process which would mean a board of local business leaders would decide where a business would be deemed successful/struggling and then after a democratic vote it would be decided whether or not all or some of this fund would be used trying to save the business. This scheme would be on an opt-out basis with all current businesses participating.

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Those are the most important aims -- however the following could also be investigated:

5. Wayfinding signs should be erected in prominent areas throughout the town centre. These would allow tourists to find their way from any designated carparks to prominent landmarks and local ammenities such as Penicuik House and the Post Office.

6. An outdoor market area could be considered. After a number of students visted from a school of architecture they decided that the parking area at High Street would be best used as a pedestrianised market area. A feasibilty study would be required to investigate whether a regular market would be sustainable.

7. In the current climate large organised events are strategic ways to raise a large amount of money. We feel that currently Penicuik are missing the oppurtunity - after all Penicuik is the largest town in Midlothian (awaiting 2011 census results) - and it does support local events such as the gala day. If such a scale of people could attend other local events such as the Arts Festival or the Christmas Celebrations then a lot of money could be raised for local organisations. If point one  was successful then the following would be have to be relocated. Currently 52 Jackson St is empty land. What if for two weeks at Christmas this land was used as a festive market that would showcase products from businesses across the county and southern Scotland? When Ikea straition decided to stop hosting their Christmas celebrations businesses and customers where forced to go into Edinburgh, including the majority of the population of Midlothian. If Penicuik could tap into this market then we would draw back a lot of customers who previously had to go to Edinburgh. Taking the Biggar Little Festival as an example, they draw a wide number of 'northern' residents to their little town to see the talent they have to offer. Our Christmas celebrations could have a market, small ice rink and even a grotto that could be used for 'Santa' or local artists to sow their talent. This needs investigating further.

We have many other ideas we'd love to explore but to make this petition viable we have chosen to include only seven very specific aims. Other aims have been included in our sister petition: Midlothian Council: Improve Penicuik's road crossings and junctions.

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Thank you for taking the time to read - and hopefully sign - our petition. If you feel strongly about the cause please contact us either through Change.org or by emailing us at campaigns@pen-y-cog.org.uk. You can also join us on Facebook to stay up to date. More information on our website - www.Pen-Y-Cog.org.uk.

In association with The Penicuik Cuckoo. Brought to you by the Pen-Y-Cog Group.

[Privacy: All signature details (excluding your name and location) are strictly private and can only be seen by us in the event of a successful petition. Your address allows Midlothian Council to verify that you are a real person and that your signature has not just been computer generated. If you object to filling this information out please insert the address details of a local business or organisation and we will know that you have opted out of including your full details. Thank you for your participation.]

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This petition had 164 supporters

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