Harperigg area of Kirknewton awarded broadband cash from windfarm


Residents in the Harperigg area of Kirknewton have been awarded £14,470 to develop improved broadband in the area.  The residents, who form a committee of the board of Kirknewton Community Development Trust, received the funds from West Lothian Council Development Trust, who distribute funds from wind farm community benefit.  The residents are eligible to receive up to 30% of windfarm funds through this committee, being 10k from the windfarms in the area. 

The residents intend to set up and maintain a community broadband network for the houses in the Harperrig area that are currently not in receipt of this service. 48 houses have been identified as having no access to broadband by West Lothian Council, and this project seeks to initially connect 24.  It will then make connections much easier for the remaining households should they choose to follow this method.

This is coupled with the village of Kirknewton winning a national competition to install super fast fibre broadband.  Improving broadband in the area was identified in the Kirknewton Community consultation, in which 25% of the population participated.  It was expected this was to be completed in 2020 but with the Virgin Media installation and this project, co-ordinated by the residents around Harperigg, improved broadband could be here much sooner.

The residents have to find an additional 30% of the funds (the whole project costing £18,200 in the first year) and organise planning for a main relay from Cairns Farm.  Well done to the residents in the area who made this happen.

If you are unfamiliar with the area of Kirknewton you can park your car at Harperigg Fisheries, thanks to LandTrust funds of £25,000 for a car park KCDT developed with West Lothian Council last year, and walk around the Harperigg reservoir.  A Kirknewton map of the area will be delivered to your door soon.  Meantime find out more about places to visit and walks in the local area here


£150 bag tax donation from Kirknewton Festival Stores Premier to KCDT

festival stores

Over December and January the plastic bag tax from Kirknewton Festival Stores went to the charity Kirknewton Community Development Trust.  KCDT would like to thank Festival Stores and their customers for their kind donation of £150.  You can follow Festival Stores on facebook

Kirknewton Community Council provides £600 of funding for local groups

The Yarnbombers have been awarded £300 from the Community Council for their activities. The Brownies, based in the Kirknewton Church Hall, have also been awarded £300 to go towards a weekend trip to Netherund House.
Between 10th Jan – 10th Feb there was 26 calls from Kirknewton, 6 road traffic calls, 1 Network call, 4 anti social calls – 2 youth related after a fire in the woodland. There was a fire in a bin in Hillhouse Crescent. It was close to a gas main, so had the potential to be even more dangerous to residents. There was the suggestion advice be given at schools re fire prevention.  CCTV is being investigated.
The recent spate of poor reliability has been purely down to the barrier detection process which is principally an electro mechanical arrangement. This is what has been replaced with circuit controllers. This should see a marked improvement in the overall reliability of the level crossing (although since then the barriers have failed again).
There are still investigations going on about introducing a footbridge, covered areas on each side of the barrier to protect people on foot during inclement weather and information points on traffic lights and barriers if barriers are expected to be down for some considerable time.
At the other end of the village Network Rail have now accepted they own the pathway over the footbridge near Camps Junction and will fix the flooded area at the bottom of the stairs.
In a letter to Cllr Dave King from Elaine King of West Lothian HSCP it was suggested the likelihood of recruitment and management of one GP would be ‘slim’. A single handed GP is not popular these days. The new health centre in East Calder should improve capacity in the area. Elaine suggested local transport options should be looked at.  KCDT have already trained over 15 volunteer bus drivers with the intention to transport people from rural areas, the village to an East Calder / Ratho / Balerno loop but management, transport, insurance and maintenance is costly with no guarantees of KCDT funding beyond mid 2018. The KCDT Youth and Volunteer Co-ordinator Jennifer Ba recently attended a conference on community transport, and advice is usually to work with a local transport partner.
Cllr Carl John noted extra parking bays have been suggested to the KCC at Smithy Brae, where parking and access for emergency vehicles is becoming a problem. This is being costed by WLC. The cost of this will be reviewed by the KCC for a Village Improvement Fund application.
KCDT has been granted a £13,000 application for a flying fox in the park and £10,000 for the Charles Jencks Gateway To The Village Art Project to the Village Improvement Fund . It is expected a £5000 application will be made for new Village Christmas Lights for 2017, with the community voting on the potential choices. KCC hope to confirm all proposals by May.
Cllr Dave King reported the Council are waiting on a PDSP report from Gordon Brown on potential speed calming sign, to be funded by KCC, near Hillhouse Wynd. Cllr Carl John reported the destroyed lamppost near the same area, hit by a car when it overturned, has been reported but no date yet for its replacement.
Kirknewton Primary School have been awarded £12,000 from education attainment fund.
A final plan which incorporates a number of the lessons learned from the Green Room  development, keeping heating/lighting and hot water costs down for the proposed Park Pavilion Changing Rooms has been reached. The council are making site investigations for the area where the previous temporary nursery was (due to flooding concerns) or on the hill of the park (which may rule the project too costly). If all goes well the pavilion will be completed by February 2018 costing approximately £400,000. To improve usage of the Pavilion KCC & KCDT have also been in talks with the Council on £20,000 funding for drainage to the pitch, additional lighting and hard surfacing the basketball area. KCDT & KCC will review management of the unit, based on their resolution and what’s agreed with WLC.
There is a recognition that Virgin Media works haS been disruptive for some people in Kirknewton with a mix of reports on the quality of the work. It was felt an approach to Virgin Media would be made to review the works once complete, to ensure it meets the high standard they reported it would be to Kirknewton Community Council. Meantime if you are unhappy with the work individuals are encourage to speak to a supervisor first. If not available call 0870 888 3116 (there is a charge) or e- mail ExpansionWorks@virginmedia.co.uk
The KCC are writing to West Lothian Council to safeguard the area near Park Terrace,
to widen the road to improve access to the area.
WLC planners have responded that they are awaiting a report from SEPA regarding the Leavenseat Waste Incinerator. There is concerns about prevailing winds and smell to the area.
On another issue a request to Councillors to Scottish Power and SEPA has been requested due to the amount of mud and dirt trenching from the Easter Newton Sub Station to Calderwood through Humbie Holdings and if SEPA have been informed this work will also have to go across the burn.
KCDT have agreed a partnership with Almond Housing to develop the applications to Rural Housing Grant for £500,000 funding and planning. It is expected Horizon, a Responsible
Social Landlord, will manage the expected seven low cost energy amenity rented houses for the elderly and help with defining the criteria of local people who can rent the properties.

A Stone’s Progress with Kirknewton Kids


It was lovely to speak to the Kirknewton primary children this week about the proposed Charles Jencks artwork ‘Order and Chaos’ on the Camps Junction site to the east of the village.

We talked about volcanic rocks, the history around Kaimes Iron Age Fort and our ‘design your own stone’ project – the two best designs in each class winning a £10 book token.  We hope to exhibit as many of the designs as we can in the near future.

The stone can feature their own interests or the ‘order and chaos’ theme, volcanoes, views from Kaimes Hill, invading armies or whatever their imagination comes up with. The project will be done in class before the end of the week and more details about the proposed gateway to the village artwork can be found here

This week the Youth Club kids will be designing their own stone work at their trip at Hilly Cow Wigwam.

The work with the school children will help us secure up to £30,000 worth of funding and kicks off the Kirknewton celebration of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

Charles Jencks Gateway to Village art project progresses

Kirknewton Community Council and Kirknewton Community Development Trust have made an application for Planning Consent to West Lothian Council for the proposed Charles Jencks Landform Art at Camps Junction, Kirknewton.  This will improve the disused area of ground to the entrance of our village and  we also hope to improve walking access down the verge.


Our application for funding from West Lothian Council for £20K from the Public Art Grant and an additional £10K from the Village Improvement Funds has been granted conditionally upon us securing planning consent for the work and the asset transfer, which we hope will be successful.

In the coming weeks we hope to engage with young people and the community a little more on the project.  The information has been out in the public domain for some time, online and in the Green Room, and we are keen to get further feedback on the proposals to infokirknewton@gmail.com.  The project brief, put together by Charles Jencks, can be read here