A NEWLY launched group is bidding to unlock the potential of “the jewel in Musselburgh’s crown” as it hopes to make Fisherrow harbour a thriving hub of community activity.

The Fisherrow Harbour and Seafront Association is now ready to draw up a plan of action and seek investment to create a major sports hub and facilities for all ages.

David Wilkie, association chairman, told the Courier: “The harbour is crying out for investment.

“We need to make the harbour accessible to a wide range of people.

“After years of chronic under-investment, we now have the chance to do something about this wonderful asset.

“Our vision is for a thriving and attractive Fisherrow combined harbour/seafront hub that is a positive asset for the wider local community.

“We have ambitions for the area as a major sports hub for the community.

“The historic harbour needs renovation and to pay for this we ultimately need to attract the footfall into the area.”

Helen Greene, secretary, added: “Once we have a coherent plan of action we can draw down funding from a variety of sources in addition to Musselburgh Common Good Fund.

“The money is there waiting for a good plan to use it and we believe that with the support of the wider community we can create such a plan.”

Formation of the new association is the outcome of months of hard work by groups such as the Fisherrow Waterfront Group, Musselburgh Sea Cadets,

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Eskmuthe Rowing Club, Fisherrow Yacht Club, the Fisherrow Berth Holders’ Association and Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council.

It is hoped that development of a management agreement with East Lothian Council will see cash from Musselburgh’s Common Good Fund “flowing into the area.”

The association will be responsible for securing and directing the investment which will help realise its vision “for a thriving place where people want to live, visit and enjoy.”

It will do this by working closely with the council to create “a coherent plan” for the area as well as building on the work of the Fisherrow Waterfront Group which has worked with the community at Fisherrow to improve facilities at the harbour, and seafront.

The association is proposing to develop short, medium and long-term actions to increase the number of visitors to the area. It is set to work with local people through a community engagement plan.

The other association trustees are: vice-chairman, Veronica Noone; harbour managers David Banks/Stuart Rille; treasurer, Ian Coulter; and business development manager, Fraser Eadie.