Council enters final negotiations to buy new school site
An agreement for Midlothian Council to buy land for the replacement of Beeslack Community High School is at an advanced stage, the local authority has said.
The council is in final negotiations with the University of Edinburgh to buy the site within the university’s Easter Bush Campus.
Midlothian Council leader Councillor Kelly Parry said she was pleased with the progress.
Cllr Parry said: “We’re ironing out some important final details.
“Being able to push forward with our plans to build a replacement for Beeslack and our second Centre of Excellence will be a fantastic for our communities.”
The school, which is expected to open in 2026, will be able to accommodate 1600 pupils and will have a dedicated learning space for children with Additional Support Needs (ASN).
Built to energy-efficient standards meaning it will have low carbon emissions, it will also have a swimming pool, pavilion, and community facilities.
Cllr Parry visited the chosen site for the school with Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education Councillor Ellen Scott, head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Lisa Boden and Dr Katie Mellanby, senior lecturer in General Practice and Business Skills at the University of Edinburgh.
Cllr Scott said its proximity to Easter Bush, a world-leading research and innovation campus specialising in animal biosciences, agritech, veterinary medicine and medicine, offered an excellent opportunity to work in partnership with the university.
She said: “The school will be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre of Excellence so to be able to take advantage of the expertise on its doorstep is potentially life-changing for pupils.”
Cllr Scott said the new Centre of Excellence will not only raise attainment and help pupils from across Midlothian secure high paying jobs in the future but linking with the university, it will also become a knowledge base, helping inform improvements to building design, the curriculum and teaching methods across Scotland.”
Professor Lisa Boden, head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Dean of Veterinary Medicine, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this project and excited by the prospect of what this partnership can deliver for the next generation of Scottish scientists.”
The replacement for Beeslack will be Midlothian’s second Centre of Excellence. Newbattle Community High School opened as a Digital Centre for Excellence in 2018.