LIVE music and theatre performances could take place in Haddington Corn Exchange as The Brunton remains closed.

East Lothian Council confirmed at the end of May that parts of the Musselburgh venue would be closed for a “considerable period of time” after structural issues were identified in the roof.

Now, discussions are taking place between The Brunton Theatre Trust (BTT) and the local authority regarding the potential of a temporary lease of the town centre Haddington building.

Initially, the Corn Exchange, which has held concerts and various events in the past, could be leased as a venue from September for an initial six-month period.

Michael Stitt, chair of Brunton Theatre Trust, stressed the importance of arts and entertainment in the county and stressed “the shows will go on!”

He said: “The Brunton Theatre Trust, with support from East Lothian Council, managed to secure in an incredibly short period a range of local venues enabling much of our programming to continue.

“We have created a Festival Fringe programme for August, with events taking place at fantastic venues across Musselburgh: Loretto School Theatre, Northesk Parish Church, Musselburgh Racecourse, Lothian Suite at Musselburgh Links and Musselburgh Grammar School.”

Mr Stitt paid tribute to the team at The Brunton for their efforts in ensuring performances have taken place away from their traditional home.

He said: “Our technicians have set up professional sound and lighting in numerous alternative venues and our front of house staff will be there to ensure the fantastic customer experience that people have come to expect from The Brunton.

“The Trustees are extremely fortunate to be working with an agile and highly capable Brunton staff team.

“Without their dedication and support over recent months, much of this extraordinary programming would not have been possible.

“The shows have gone on because of them and our wonderful partner organisations who have stepped into to offer us space and support.

“We will continue to work with East Lothian Council to find a venue to host our larger scale events until such times as the return of The Brunton Hall is known – discussions around the potential use of the Corn Exchange in Haddington provide exciting potential for a new venue for The Brunton in the centre of the county.”

Haddington Corn Exchange shut its doors in February 2019 ahead of an £800,000 refurbishment.

The building was due to reopen to visitors later that year but work was delayed and further hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Then, the town centre building was leased by the local authority to NHS Lothian to be used as a vaccination centre.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership’s primary vaccination team has now moved to the town’s East Lothian Community Hospital, freeing up the Corn Exchange.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, leader of East Lothian Council, said: “The BTT is currently working with Loretto School to house its film screenings and smaller scale theatre and dance performances in the school’s theatre and they are also presenting concerts in partnership with Northesk Church.

“However, it has also been recognised that a larger space for performances would also be desirable due to the Brunton Hall Theatre and Venue 1 being closed for use.

“Following the completion of the use of the Corn Exchange by NHS Lothian as Covid-19 vaccination centre the building is being assessed for use by the BTT for some of their forthcoming performances with the possibility that these may begin at this venue later this year.

“In addition, through the BTT, the Corn Exchange would once again be available for wider public use and community events when not required for performances which I know will be widely welcomed.”