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.”
(View of West Street from 4 West Street (now the Arts Centre) after a heavy snowstorm early in the 20th century, with kind permission from Chris Leavy, moderator of “Ye Olde Penicuik” Facebook page.)
Recent Building 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 18 months of 2020 to 2021, we paid heavily for several roof repairs, and we were delighted that the Penicuik Regeneration Project was able to help with a generous grant for a roof overhaul. The PCAA was asked to contribute £7500. The other building owners (Belgian Consulate and Midlothian Council) contributed a similar amount, and the grant covered 80% of the final cost. Thanks to generous donations, we managed to raise our share of the cost, plus the cost of extra essential internal surveys for safety and soundness of the building. The work was finished in June 2023 with a handover meeting at the end of August 2023.
We are grateful to everyone who donated to help us raise the necessary funds for this work.