Detailed plans for Destination Hillend

Friday August 20th 2021


The main building at Hillend which will be carbon neutral.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Detailed plans are now being drawn up for Destination Hillend, including a new carbon neutral main building, after councillors approved a final business case for the year-round family attraction.

The project will see Midlothian Snowsports Centre redeveloped into a major multi-activity leisure, retail and tourist attraction offering:

  • A new zip line
  • A new Alpine Coaster
  • A new glamping complex
  • New fun slope (completed already) to increase the participation of freestyle within snowsports
  • Upgraded and modern snowsports facilities with enhanced snowsports storage.
  • A new café with full kitchen and ‘back of house’ provision
  • Fine dining
  • Outdoor seating
  • A retail unit
  • Increased car parking capacity (425 spaces)
  • An improved public road junction which increases public safety and supports green travel
  • A new soft play area
  • A new high rope activity
  • Enhanced and flexibly configured children’s party rooms
  • A new function suite

The project is expected to create between 55 and 80 full-time equivalent jobs directly with a further 11-16 full-time equivalent jobs supported indirectly by the facility annually.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development Councillor Russell Imrie said: “Destination Hillend will be a major tourist destination bringing increased visitor numbers – as many as 600,000 people a year – and significant economic benefits to the local Midlothian area while generating income to be re-invested into council services.

“We’re very excited about the plans for this family attraction, which will safeguard the future of Midlothian Snowsports Centre while ensuring people in Midlothian and elsewhere can enjoy all snowsports from beginner to advanced levels.

“The agreement to build a net carbon zero main building is also a key milestone in our Climate Change Strategy helping us towards our commitment of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.”

Taking into account the approved capital spend of £24.468 million, the Destination Hillend project is expected to cover its own costs and, when fully operational, contribute circa £718,000 per year to support other critical council services.

A new funslope has already opened at the site and work on improving the access road and the A702 junction is scheduled for spring 2022. The new car park is also due to start in spring of next year.

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