Lidl expanding in Dalkeith whilst The Blacksmith’s Forge decides not to renew lease

Friday March 5th 2021


Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

Lidl GB has confirmed that it has submitted a planning application to Midlothian Council for the extension and modernisation of the Dalkeith store on Newmills Road.

The application details the extension of the current sales area to 1670 square metres, building into and revitalising the vacant unit next door, previously occupied by Peacocks.

Current occupier of the neighbouring unit JD Wetherspoons PLC, who operate The Blacksmith’s Forge, have chosen not to renew their lease beyond July 2021, and Lidl GB will be exploring options for a new tenant for this site.

News of the closure of the popular pub has already disappointed many, with Kenny Brunton of, saying:

“The Blacksmith’s Forge in Dalkeith is very much a hub of the community as a place where people can meet over a coffee, have an evening meal or just enjoy a few drinks with friends. It is also important as it is the only pub in the area that sells real ale and in 2020 received a Best Bar None Award.”

As a larger store, the plans will enable even more of the local community access to Lidl’s high quality and affordable produce. This will include the provision of upgraded facilities including increased shopping area, customer toilets and baby changing, as well as refurbishment of the store to improve the overall customer experience.

Lidl GB’s Regional Head of Property, Gordon Rafferty, commented:

“We are delighted to confirm our plans to invest in the extension and modernisation of our store in Dalkeith. If approved, the works would mean a massive improvement in the shopping experience and choice for the local community as well as mark further investment into the local area. In the meantime, we would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have supported us so far and look forward to receiving the decision in due course.

“Lidl has experienced continued growth in Scotland over the years as consumers flock to the supermarket to discover its great value products – currently sourced from over 60 Scottish suppliers – ranging from quality fruit and vegetables, to dairy and bakery lines. Its ongoing success shows no signs of slowing, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel results highlighting Lidl’s continued success with increased sales year on year and market share of 5.7%.”

It would seem that supermarkets can see the value in investing in Midlothian. Lidl’s competitor Aldi is building a new store nearby in Thornybank and has just started a consulation for a new store in Straiton: Read more at Aldi consulting on new store at Straiton

Article updated Saturday 6th March at 13:15 with comment from Wetherspoons.

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said:

“We can confirm that The Blacksmith’s Forge will no longer operate as a Wetherspoon pub. The company had been in discussions to purchase the property but Lidl have it earmarked for future expansion so unwilling to sell.

“Given the current unknown situation of when we can reopen in Scotland, possibly May or June we won’t reopen the site.

“There are 29 staff and management, all will be retained moving to neighbouring pubs such as Musselburgh, Leith or Edinburgh City Centre.

“We thank our staff and customers for their loyalty to the pub over the years.”

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