Angry Musselburgh residents force Brunton charges U-turn

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Discounts for charities and voluntary groups booking revamped facilities at the Brunton Hall are set to be reinstated in the face of a “huge community backlash.”

East Lothian Council caused outrage at the end of last year with a decision to increase hire charges - while at the same time reducing the discount applied to voluntary groups from 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

The council was accused of forcing the community out of its own building as it attempted to recoup the cost of the £3.7m Brunton redevelopment.

But officials have now informed the council’s six Musselburgh councillors that “the 20 per cent reduction will revert back to 50 per cent in order to provide support to local voluntary groups who wish to book the facilities.”

Principal arts officer Lesley Smith also advised them that the Brunton Theatre Trust was being asked to take over the management of the refurbished areas from the council, in which case trustees would be in a position to review the hire charges.

The complex - owned by the community as part of the Musselburgh Common Good - re-opened in November following an 18-month closure during the refurbishment.

Full story in this week’s Musselburgh News on sale now.

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