Three applications from local organisations for Common Good funding have been approved by Councillors under East Lothian Council’s Emergency Recess arrangements.

The approved applications were:

  • Musselburgh Rugby Football Club - £50,000
  • Musselburgh Athletic Football Club - £9,300
  • Blooming Haddington - £5,000

Funding for Musselburgh Rugby Football Club will contribute towards the extension of the clubhouse and provide new equipment and changing facilities. The funding is conditional on the new facilities being made available for use by other community groups/clubs and securing additional external funding.  

The award for Musselburgh Athletic Football Club will support the installation of a public address and CCTV system to ensure the wellbeing and safety of stadium users.
Funding will be used by Blooming Haddington towards the purchase of 120 town centre hanging baskets, as well as plants for planters, boxes and compost.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: 

“Under recess arrangements, council group leaders have approved these applications from Musselburgh Rugby Football Club, Musselburgh Athletic Football Club and Blooming Haddington. Funding will support the expansion and improvement of local facilities in Musselburgh and contribute towards the cost of hanging baskets and plants in Haddington.”

Drew Johnston, President of Musselburgh Rugby Football Club, said:

“This is great news. As a club competing at a high level and keen to retain local rugby talent, we feel it is critical the club has modern strength and conditioning facilities in place. We are also very keen to upgrade our changing facilities. We would also like to make facilities open to members of other clubs and organisations. This award provides the first element of the funding we require. We are pursuing other funding sources in order to bring this project to reality.”

Karl Cleghorn, Club President, Musselburgh Athletic Football Club, said:

“We are delighted and very grateful for this award. This will be a big boost for the football club throughout the regular season of matches and also for the wider community of Musselburgh. I expect it will be possible for our facility to be used a lot more by the community in future.”

Joe Forte, Vice Chairman, Blooming Haddington, said:

“We are very appreciative of the support. This is great news particularly in these difficult times. A number of people have commented on how beautiful the floral displays are in the town and this funding will help to keep Haddington looking its best. We are also grateful to council staff for their support, with Neilson Park looking particularly good this year.” 


Common Good Committees have the authority to award grants of up to £10,000. As decisions on the applications by Musselburgh Athletic Football Club and Blooming Haddington require to be made before the next meetings of the respective committees, they were brought forward for consideration under the council’s COVID-19 Emergency Recess arrangements.

As East Lothian Council remains in full recess, a decision on the application by Musselburgh Rugby Football Club – for an award in excess of £10,000 – was also taken under the Emergency Recess arrangements.

The COVID-19 Emergency Recess procedures were invoked in March. This means all scheduled committee meetings are currently cancelled until further notice. The three Political Group Leaders (or their deputes), along with the relevant Cabinet Spokesperson (or their depute), deal in their discretion with necessary council business presented to them by consideration by the Chief Executive or authorised officers.

Published: Tuesday, 4th August 2020