PLANS for a new sports and recreational facility to be built in Gullane have been lodged with East Lothian Council.

Gullane Sports Development Trust is currently gathering community support for the new facility, which would incorporate an all-weather multi-sport surface, a new pavilion, floodlights and fencing.

The trust secured charitable status last September and members are planning various fundraising initiatives in a bid to secure the funding needed to build the facility.

The project is expected to cost about �200,000 in total, with an additional �23,000 needed to cover the initial set-up costs, including management fees and outlays.

If approved, the new facility - intended to be 30m by 40m, equivalent to the size of a seven-a-side pitch - will be situated at Memorial Recreation Park, at Muirfield Terrace, adjacent to the village's primary school, and it is hoped that the development will bring the community together to organise, play and support sporting activity.

Currently, children living in the village involved in sports clubs have to travel to Haddington and Meadowmill to use sporting facilities, and members of the trust believe that having their own grounds will encourage more children to get involved.

Trustee Mike Mackie set up a kids' football club about five years ago, which currently has more than 50 children involved, and the village hockey club has also attracted about 80 participants.

Mr Mackie, 47, said: "This project has been in the planning for a couple of years now as I felt that some children in the area were missing out on a sports experience due to the lack of proper facilities in the area.

"Our football team has been a huge success, with about 50 children involved at various age levels, but we have to travel to Meadowmill to use their facilities, which can be restrictive to some families who don't have access to transport.

"Also, the village's hockey club is proving very popular with about 80 members, but, again, they have to travel to Haddington to train and play on proper pitches.

"The trust feels it is vitally important to have a dedicated sports facility within the village and, after a lot of hard work by various members, we are now in a position to push forward with the project." The trust is organising a leaflet drop to every home in the village over the coming weeks in an effort to supply locals with information surrounding the project and to garner support.

It is also hoped that the proposed sports facility will encourage children to take part in other sports, such as cricket and athletics.

The trust will also be organising various fundraising events over the summer, including asking benefactors to sponsor square metres of the new pitch and a golf day.

Mr Mackie added: "It is vitally important for the whole community to come together and back the plans, as the project will benefit everyone connected to the village, not just the children.

"So far we have had great feedback from the local community and also very positive comments from local councillors and members of the community council.

"But, of course, this community-owned project is not just about the sport. Hopefully, it will help the children who get involved to set up their own clubs, which can only help with their organisational and life skills in the future." A planning application for the erection of a sports pavilion and the formation of a synthetic pitch with floodlighting was lodged with the local authority on March 12.

Councillor Tim Day, cabinet member for community wellbeing and a North Berwick Coastal ward member, said: "I fully support the aims of the trust to establish a pitch facility for Gullane, which I'm sure will be a great community asset.

"To date, the council's priority has been to develop pitch facilities in the main towns, so community projects like this are really welcome because there is a demand for this type of facility in Gullane.

"Sport plays an important function in bringing communities together and improving people's health and wellbeing, while it also plays a vital role in children's development.

"The trust has already put a lot of work into bringing this proposal forward and I'm sure East Lothian Council will offer whatever assistance it can to help lever in external funding to make this fantastic project a reality."