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 A decade of business renewal and success was celebrated as Midlothian Chamber of Commerce marked its 10th anniversary at the luxury home of its very first member.

And the icing on the cake at the birthday lunch at Dalhousie Castle – the first organisation to join - was the presence of four of the five chairmen who have presided over the organisation’s development.

Since the Chamber was formed in 1998, it has held some 600 events and members have traded an estimated £8.5 million worth of goods and services with one another, Executive Director Gregor Murray told representatives of more than 55 companies at the Bonnyrigg hotel and spa.

Last year the Chamber merged with the East Lothian Business Association to form the Midlothian and East Lothian Chamber of Commerce.

Midlothian’s Lord Lieutenant, Patrick Prenter, was the Midlothian Chamber’s first Chairman and among those who attended the 10th birthday celebrations. Others included his successors Murdo McKenzie (New Park Management), Colin Macfarlane (Melville Golf Centre), current Chairman Colin Burnett of the Moredun Research Institute and Midlothian MP David Hamilton, one of the Chamber’s founding members.

In an interview with community radio station Black Diamond fm immediately before the Dalhousie event, Gregor Murray said the Chamber “has been very good for the community, business and local jobs. It has made a big contribution to Midlothian.”

He commented: “The Chamber helps businesses succeed, become part of a national and international network, and gives them a stronger voice with decision makers in the public sector.

“It also facilitates contacts through networking – vital for a healthy business – and offers cost savings on many services through its affinity schemes.”

Midlothian has a bright future, with traditional large industries having been replaced steadily by smaller and high-tech firms, notably in the bioscience sector around Penicuik, Murray added.