A DERELICT pub on the fringes of the Pentland Hills is poised for a £2.5 million transformation into an outdoor centre after getting the green light from planners.
Gordon Lee, co-owner of outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Craigdon Mountain Sports, will redevelop the former Fairmile Inn south of Edinburgh into the Pentland Outdoor Centre. The four-storey facility, expected to open next year, will be the Inverurie-based company’s fifth outlet.
Lee said the aim is to provide a “gateway” to the Midlothian Snowsports Centre and the Pentland National Park. “We will have a big ski workshop there and we will be working with the ski slope,” he said.
Work will begin with demolishing the pub and replacing it with a shop, restaurant and physiotherapist unit as well as flats for staff. The development will use natural stone and timber and will include solar panels.
Last year, Midlothian Council, which owns and runs the Hillend ski slope, submitted plans for a £600,000 upgrade which included an additional main slope, a new nursery slope, “snowtubing” runs as well as two new travellator uplift systems.
Bob Constable, Midlothian council leader, said: “We are delighted that such a significant player in the snow sports industry are moving their flagship premises to our doorstep.
“It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in Midlothian Snowsports Centre that they have chosen the site at Lothianburn junction, especially as our £600,000 improvement works are nearing completion.”
Community groups welcomed the approval of the scheme by the City of Edinburgh Council planners. Fairmilehead Community Council had dubbed the 1950s-built pub an “eyesore” and said the new facility “will sit well in the context of the Pentlands, the Midlothian Ski Centre, the local farms, golf courses and existing recreational facilities”.
Family-owned Craigdon was founded by Lee’s parents in 1984 and is Scotland’s biggest ski equipment retailer.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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