Craig Hoy MSP column: Great to see castles progress
FOR East Lothian to flourish it’s vital we continue to invest in our local industry, service sector and tourism.
Late last year I met with UK Government Ministers to press the case for East Lothian’s bid for Levelling Up funding.
I am absolutely delighted the UK Government has given the green light to transform the site of Cockenzie Power Station into developable land for job creation.
It has provided £11.3 million to ensure that this project is completed as part of Rishi Sunak’s Levelling Up Fund. This is the UK – and the Union – in action here in Scotland.
I am also pleased to report progress on another issue I have been working on.
I was pleased to learn about site inspections at Dirleton Castle and Tantallon Castle on Monday ahead of their reopening.
These two castles previously attracted over 75,000 tourists a year before Covid.
I attended a meeting with Historic Environment Scotland in Dirleton on Friday, who were very forthcoming about the reasons for the castle closures, which have been in effect since June 2021 due to the threat to life presented by loose high-level masonry.
Historic Environment Scotland has confirmed that assessment reports will be completed in February and, from there, they will be able to provide better clarity about the amount of work needed to reopen Dirleton Castle and Tantallon Castle.
Unfortunately, there are complex challenges at Hailes Castle which will take some time to resolve.
The grounds of Tantallon Castle and Dirleton Castle are currently open free-of-charge to visitors, and it is encouraging to learn that a total of 37,000 people visited Tantallon Castle last year despite access restrictions to the castle. I look forward to seeing work progress at these vitally important local landmarks.
East Lothian Courier