A POPULAR gallery has shut its doors for the last time.

The Peter Potter Gallery, a registered charity, had been in operation for four decades.

However, it closed its doors earlier this summer, with a spokeswoman for the group now confirming that it would not re-open.

She said: “As is the experience of many third sector organisations in the current economic climate, the Peter Potter Gallery has been struggling to stay afloat financially for some time.”

The trustees have been advised by the landlord, East Lothian Council, that the lease of the property on The Sands, Haddington, will end at the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the trustees are getting in touch with local artists who have work in the gallery to arrange collection of their pieces of art before handing the keys over to the local authority at the end of the month.

The spokeswoman added: “We are very grateful to the many loyal customers who have supported both the gallery and the thriving community of local artists whose work we have shown over the years, both through the purchase of locally produced artwork or visits to the cafe which at one time was a go-to destination for a slice of cake and a riverside view.

“The decision to close the gallery permanently has not been easy, and all possible options were considered with a view to avoiding this outcome.

“Whilst the Peter Potter Gallery will move out of 10 The Sands as of August 31, 2016, it will take a number of months to finalise the closure and the hello@peterpottergallery.org address will remain active for anyone requiring to contact the remaining Trustees during this period.”

The Peter Potter Gallery Trust worked to involve everyone in the community with creative arts.

The income generated by the gallery and cafe was used entirely to deliver projects and services to some of the most vulnerable people in East Lothian.

Haddington and Lammermuir Councillor Tom Trotter felt it was a shame that the gallery was shutting its doors for good.

He said: “Obviously, it is bad news.

“I know they have been struggling for sometime, unfortunately.

“It is one of those things that will be missed by the people who used it.”

Colleague John McMillan, who is also the local authority’s spokesman for tourism and economic development, echoed Mr Trotter’s view.

He said: “It is very sad because I think I didn’t expect it at all.

“I think it had such a long set of links with the town and it has been such a unique organisation.”

Jan Wilson, chairwoman of the town’s community council, described it as “sad news” that the building was now closed.

She said: “It was a brilliant wee place and every time you passed the windows they looked lovely.

“There were lots of things in the windows and I just think it is really quite sad.”