Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership is celebrating an injection of £249,000 to help shape the area's future development.

This is one of the first awards to be made through The National Lottery’s new Great Place scheme. The funding will help develop projects and collaborations centred on the place’s unique culture and heritage to address issues such as poverty, employment, health and education.

The Great Place Scheme has been devised and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund in consultation with organisations involved in regeneration to ensure it responds to the specific needs of Scottish places, from city-wide initiatives to smaller, rural schemes.

The Preston Seton Gosford Heritage Connections project will use the funding to place heritage at the heart of joined-up thinking to create a better place for people to live and visit. With this award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as money committed by the Partnership and East Lothian Council, the project will develop new dynamic networks and partnerships and new ways to include built, cultural, and natural heritage in improving local outcomes.

"This is fantastic news for the residents of Preston Seton Gosford" Cllr. John McMillan

Young and old will be involved in training opportunities and exploring new ways of supporting local heritage to make a real difference to peoples’ lives.

Commenting on the announcement, Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:

“You can’t imagine Prestonpans without its mining heritage, Cockenzie and Port Seton without their harbours, and Longniddry without Gosford. Heritage and culture gives these places a unique identity and makes them special for the people that live there. It’s the roots if you like. This Scheme will show how building on those roots can have a hugely positive impact on the local economy in terms of health, employment and education, as well as instilling community cohesion and pride. “Thanks to players of The National Lottery, we are enabling a step-change in thinking, encouraging local leaders to come together and recognise that heritage is a driving force for change for the Preston Seton Gosford area.”

Area Partnership representatives Andrew Crummy a local artist, and businessman Peter Ford worked with East Lothian Council and the Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership to develop the proposal.

Area Partnership Chair, Ferhan Ashiq said:

“This is wonderful news and is a real opportunity for the many heritage groups and community event organisers to work together through the Partnership to make the most of the wealth of historic sites in the area and breathe new life into Prestonpans High Street. I’m really excited as there is a wealth of local expertise and we could really boost the local economy by providing more opportunities for people to gain valuable work experience and learn more about their rich cultural and industrial heritage especially as 2018 is the Year of Young People.”

Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said:

“This is fantastic news for the residents of Preston Seton Gosford and is a great example of how Area Partnerships are working with and listening to the needs of our communities and taking steps to make a real difference. All of which helps the council achieve some of its key aims, including reducing inequality and growing our economy.”

Published: Saturday, 24th February 2018