More or less deserted for years, the old Ben Sayers Factory on North Berwick's Tantallon Road isn't much to look at.

With all the aesthetic appeal one might expect from an old industrial building, the large blue edifice gives little sign of life to the main road it faces. But go through its doors and the place is a hive of activity.

Great curves and ramps of wood rise high, filling the cavernous spaces of the old factory floor.Industrious-looking men scurry to and fro with equipment, and bangs and crashes ring out against the ramps.

For this old factory is the unlikely setting for an ambitious project set to give the young people of East Lothian something to do with their time and somewhere to nurture their talents.

It is the new base for Uprising East Lothian, a youth-based social enterprise which is the brainchild of county youth worker Adrian Girling.

Based in a converted potato barn at Phantassie, near East Linton, for the past two years, it has always been the aim of the Uprising project to up sticks to North Berwick - and that dream was realised this month by East Lothian Council's planning committee unanimously approving the group's bid to take over the factory as a temporary base until an appropriate permanent facility can be found.

A team of volunteers are in the process of converting the vast spaces of the old factory into a vibrant youth hub, the centrepiece of which will be a large skate and BMX park capable of accommodating about 60 people.

Other facilities constructed will be a climbing wall, workshops, music practice rooms and a soft play area for younger kids, while a cafe will also serve refreshments to visitors of all ages.

And construction is going along at a ferocious pace. Work started at the building in October and the team has been hard at work since. Already great ramps and bowls are filling the work space ahead of the facility's proposed partial opening in July.

That would see the skate and BMX park up and running, as well as a temporary cafe, before the other facilities at the building open in September.

And with the news last Monday that the project had secured a grant of £51,000 from the Tyne Esk LEADER fund, there's a spring in the step of those involved in the scheme.

"I think our vision, and what we've achieved so far, is pretty unique," Adrian said. "It's certainly not something East Lothian has seen before, it's very much ground up.

"Things haven't happened because of big organisations; people are doing it because they've got a passion for doing it. There's a desire to create an enterprise that over time could have a big social impact." A core crew of about 15 volunteers has carried out the bulk of the work at the facility, though they are often aided by groups of teenagers from North Berwick and Preston Lodge High Schools who turn up on Friday afternoons to lend a hand.

And Uprising's aim of building community spirit is already showing great success, as the teens have become united by working together, while the build crew itself - who are mostly between 18 and 25 - has also become a tight knit unit.

Under the guidance of joiner and site manager Paul Eldridge, the crew has been working 10am-5pm most days and is delighted with the progress.

And Paul, a keen skater who grew up in a 1980s North Berwick which had very little to cater for his interests, said it was the chance to give the current generation of young people in East Lothian opportunities and facilities that he never which enticed him to the project.

"It's about doing something positive," he said. "That's what really attracted me to Uprising. I've been skating since 1982 and we're just a bunch of like-minded people who are into music, into BMXing, who are doing a community-based project.

"I think it's imperative projects like this happen. There's not a lot for young people to do in East Lothian and I don't just mean the crowd who go out and drink on Friday night. Especially in North Berwick, even toddlers don't have any facilities.

"There's people who see someone with a hooded top and instantly judge. I see their point but it's about breaking that reaction.

"When I was younger there was definitely a lack of facilities. We campaigned for years to try and get money to get a [skate] ramp built. Before that we tried to get a BMX park behind The Law on Lochbridge Road. We just built ramps ourselves quite often.

"Skateboarding was great because it gave us something to do. It's important to occupy your life by doing something for yourself, be it skateboarding, music, art, photography. We want to provide a base for that for [young people]." And Paul added that giving young people something constructive to do with their time was central to reviving community spirit.

"If you speak to the older generation they acknowledge there was more to do in North Berwick [when they were younger] than there is now," he said.

"Then they had a dancing hall, they had a swimming pool, they had a cinema. I think back then there was more of a sense of community spirit, especially just after the war. It's about regenerating that kind of attitude. We want to achieve that goal in East Lothian, not just North Berwick." The efforts of Paul and the rest of the crew are paying off. Although a large numbers of the teenagers helping on the project enjoy skating, Paul explained that many were not part of that crowd - but were making new friends and receiving a new-found respect for the hobby by working together.

The crew is also delighted with the way the volunteers have all chipped in where they can.

"To be honest 99 per cent of the time they're happy just to tidy up for us," Paul said. "On Friday afternoons the place is full of kids who skate and BMX and are really interested in what we're doing, and also kids who don't skate but are still interested and that's ideal for the project." And the community spirit the group is trying to build goes beyond young people too. In fact, as well as gigs to showcase local talent, events planned at the facility include coffee mornings specifically aimed at pensioners.

"It's about making it a community hub," said Adrian. "We want this to be something positive for North Berwick, East Lothian and beyond but we're going to have to work hard to make that happen." Youngsters with special needs have not been ignored either. Groups of young people from East Lothian Special Needs Playschemes (ELSNP) had the chance to learn some basic skateboarding skills at Phantassie last year and the plan is to run similar sessions at the North Berwick facility.

Kirsten Baird, ELSNP's co-ordinator, said: "What's key for me is that Uprising are absolutely determined to be inclusive. They're not at all tokenistic, they're starting off very clearly and want to include everybody in the local area.

"I think it's a fantastic project and they're trying to make it the best resource possible. It's coming from the young people and that's the best way to make sure it's suitable, rather than it just being what some guy in a suit thinks is suitable. They're putting their heart and soul into it and I think it will be an excellent facility." Other groups Uprising is working with include the town's youth cafe, rowing club and community centre, and Housecall Care and Support.

But the project isn't quite home and dry yet. It's still waiting on grants coming in from other bodies, including the National Lottery, which it hopes could help its work with schools and youth groups.

It is also on the lookout for donations from the public, as well as businesses, to help tide the project over until funding kicks in. More volunteers are also welcome - and have the chance to be part of what promises to be an incredible community project.

Donations of timber for the ramps are also appreciated. The group has already received wood from Four Winds Inspiration Centre, Craig Cockburn Joiners, Lothian Building Supplies, Tyninghame Sawmill, Windymains Timber and Barbour Homes and is grateful for their support.

Uprising talks of 'making the imaginable possible, the possible do-able, and the do-able done'. The vision and work the crew put in turned this dream into a possibility; the granting of planning permission and securing funding has turned that possibility into something which can be done.

Now volunteers are setting to work making it a reality - and with the incredible scope and vision of the project, the sky could be the limit.