One Dalkeith listening and working with businesses

Thursday November 22nd 2018

Peter Brooks Optometrist Dalkeith

Dalkeith Optometrist Peter Brooks (left) meets MSP Andy Wightman

Written by One Dalkeith

One Dalkeith meeting businesses with Andy Wightman MSP

The Dalkeith community and local businesses are at the heart of our town and integral to Dalkeith as a thriving hub. Throughout the summer our volunteers have been starting conversations with businesses to ask what could be done in Dalkeith that could also help their business.

Earlier in October, they were joined by Andy Wightman Green MSP for Lothian as part of Scotland’s Towns Partnership annual MSP Connector Programme.

During visits to a number of businesses, including Peter Brooks Optometrist and the Itihaas Restaurant, Andy listened to the challenges of running a business in Dalkeith in the current economic climate. There have been lots of suggestions and ideas coming forward, with some common themes. We will be using this initial feedback to help design our more detailed business survey that all business owners will have the opportunity to complete in the coming weeks.

From an initial sample of over 50 businesses, 78% ‘Strongly Agreed’ and 22% ‘Agreed’ when asked if the community and businesses should work together to regenerate Dalkeith. No business owner we’ve spoken to up to now disagreed with our objectives. This first stage of one to one communications about the local economy has given us a lot of encouragement that we are heading in the right direction.

Licensed trade representatives from Dalkeith also invited to Scottish Parliament to discuss Scotland’s night time economy

During a recent cross party group meeting at the Scottish parliament, steering group representatives took part in discussions about the night time economy for Dalkeith including the introduction of ‘Purple Flag’ status, ‘Best Bar None’ accreditation and the campaign around alcohol sales to adults for children.

Details of the excellent presentations will be made available on to all licensed traders in Dalkeith to help improve their business.

One Dalkeith have also managed to attract more local business owners onto our steering group. Clark Watson formally managing Director of Watco Systems has been based in Dalkeith for many years has come on board to help make a positive difference for businesses.

Clark said “Having listened and watched the efforts of One Dalkeith, I felt it was time I stepped up to provide input from a local business perspective. I would also encourage business owners from other sectors to get involved, to widen the range of skills and experience we need to put Dalkeith on the map”.

Another steering group member we would like to announce is Colin Cassidy from Basically Tool Hire. One Dalkeith are currently in discussions with other high profile national organisations based in Dalkeith and would still welcome other businesses to join the steering group.

The appointed campaign manager, Tony I’Anson, has been guiding our volunteers to collect on the ground information we need about local businesses. We have also appointed a communications expert, Ros Halley from The Place Team who will be independently conducting our detailed business and community consultation over the next three months.

Ros will be in touch to provide all business owners with the opportunity to have your say about Dalkeith from a business perspective. If you are a business owner that has not been contacted by The Place Team, please contact One Dalkeith direct. We want input from every business in Dalkeith. Ros will also be using social media and local information pods in high profile Dalkeith locations to generate valuable feedback from the community.

Business owners are invited to join the One Dalkeith business district steering group to reflect the views of all businesses.

Steering Group members are:
– Douglas Strachan, Architect.
– Tom Donaldson, Opus Management.
– Phil Bowen, Pigeon Penguin.
– John Hackett, Elected Local Councillor.
– Caroline Wight, Midlothian Council.
– Jenny Churchill, HR consultant.
– Susan Goldwyre, WaterTower Restaurant
– Clark Watson, Watco Systems.
– Colin Cassidy, Basically Tool Hire.
– Rae McGee, Community Liaison.
– Tony I’Anson, Campaign Manager(Contractor)
– Ros Halley, The Place Team (Contractor)

If you would like to participate contact Tom Donaldson on 07736 820282 or email at

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