AMBITIOUS plans to redevelop Dunbar’s lifeboat station are being drawn up.

The station has been a fixture of the town’s harbour for more than 110 years but its cramped layout means it “is no longer able to meet the requirements of the volunteer crew and the community”.

Proposals are being prepared, which will then be submitted to East Lothian Council, with the local authority deciding whether to grant planning permission.

Initial plans show a bid to improve the station on its current site, creating new, much-needed changing and training facilities for the crew.

The redevelopment will also lead to a new, enhanced visitor experience to provide better public safety education, in addition to retaining the existing shop.

The plans, which are expected to be with the local authority within a matter of months, include building a new two-storey extension, in place of the temporary D-class inshore lifeboat (ILB) garage, and reconfiguring the current layout.

The changes will bring the station into modern RNLI standards to meet the extensive training needs of the crew.

Mark Lees, chairman of Dunbar RNLI lifeboat management group, said: “This building has done us proud for 115 years but we have outgrown the facilities we have currently.

“The new design would transform the station, enabling us to meet future challenges in the years to come.”

A meeting was held with interested parties last month where the plans were discussed.

Jacquie Bell, from the town’s community council, was among those at the meeting and she said the community council supported the idea of upgrading facilities, although they would need to see the finalised plans.

She added: “The RNLI is such an important thing that when you go in and see what they are working with, it was built in 1903 and at that time the volunteers tended to be fishermen working nearby.

“There were 12 of them and in those days you only had the one boat.

“Now there is the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and the inshore lifeboat and, because people have day jobs, you have got 30 odd volunteers.

“In days of equality, you have got two women and so it is a real issue about space.”

Ward councillor Norman Hampshire paid tribute to the hard-working volunteers.

He said: “The group of men and women who are involved in the RNLI as well as providing the rescue service, they do a tremendous amount of community support work as well.

“They are an inspiration to everybody in the community.”

Dunbar’s second lifeboat, the ALB, will continue to be moored at Torness Power Station, to the east of the town.