Our History

History of the PCAA

The building occupied by Penicuik Arts Association are described in britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. The description begins “District Council Chambers, 2 West Street, Penicuik – A Category C Listed Building in Penicuik, Midlothian. 1916. 2-storey Baronial former District Council Chambers, now partly-used as Belgian Consulate (No 2); rectangular-plan with engaged circular corner tower” (the full description can be seen below).

Since 1977, when the Arts Association at West Street opened its doors, the PCAA has operated with the goal of encouraging Arts participation and providing a space for local people to engage in all manner of artistic endeavour. We are a membership organisation and these days with all those financial cuts we can only keep going thanks to our members.

A Full description of the Arts Centre building found in “britishlistedbuildings.co.uk

(Photograph with kind permission from Chris Leavy, moderator of “Ye Olde Penicuik” Facebook page.)

“District Council Chambers, 2 West Street, Penicuik – A Category C Listed Building in Penicuik, Midlothian. 1916. 2-storey Baronial former District Council Chambers, now partly-used as Belgian Consulate (No 2); rectangular-plan with engaged circular corner tower. Squared and snecked sandstone with polished dressings. Long and short quoins and surrounds to openings; dividing string course; crowstepped gables; 1st floor windows breaking eaves in crowstepped dormerheads.

NW (WEST STREET) ELEVATION: 4-bay with corner tower to outer left. 2 doorways at ground in penultimate bay to right; panelled doors; 4-light fanlights; single window at 1st floor above (no dormerhead). Bipartite windows to both floors in flanking bays. Tripartite window in bay to outer left.

NE (THE SQUARE) ELEVATION: 2-bay. Engaged circular tower to right; doorway at ground; 2-leaf panelled door; lintel inscribed “Council Chambers”; single window at 1st floor above; panelled parapet; flagpole. Bipartite windows to both floors in bay to left.

SE ELEVATION: obscured by adjoining building.

SW ELEVATION: blank gable, partly-obscured by adjoining building.

Predominantly 8-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Mutual and gablehead stacks; coped, with circular terracotta cans. Beak skewputts.”

Current Works

Like every other organisation, over the last years we have been subject to severe cuts in regular grant funding and heavy financial loss due to Covid. In addition, we’ve also had to face increasing bills for fixing a very leaky roof! During the last 18 months, we’ve paid for several roof repairs, and are now hoping that the Penicuik Regeneration Project will be able to help with a generous grant for a roof overhaul. A recent meeting with the council confirmed that a survey will be going ahead, but the PCAA will need to contribute anything between £8000 and £25000 (this is the worst case scenario). The other building owners (Belgian Consulate and Midlothian Council) would contribute a similar amount, and the grant would cover 80% of the final cost. Thanks to generous donations, we can manage the lower figure (£8000), but would need to find a way to meet the worst case scenario figure.

Any offers of help with raising funds will be very welcome.