COMMUNITIES across East Lothian are to be given the chance to take control of their local halls and centres.

East Lothian Council has identified six community buildings which it believes could be run by local residents.

It says the move would be carried out as part of its Community Asset Transfer (CAT) project, which is looking for new ways to run some of its facilities, including handing them to local groups to run or take over ownership.

Six potentially suitable buildings will be offered to communities this month, with a three-month deadline for local groups to submit notes of interest.

They are: East Linton Council Chamber, Gullane Recreation Hall, Macmerry Village Hall, Prestonpans Town Hall, Stoneyhill Community Centre in Musselburgh, and Trevelyan Hall in Pencaitland.

Councillor Jim Goodfellow, cabinet spokesperson for community wellbeing, said: “There are a number of community facilities and village halls in East Lothian which are already managed successfully by volunteer members of the local community.

“Committees often cover running costs through the income they receive, with a varied programme of events taking place at the heart of the local community.

“We believe that giving communities the opportunity to take an enhanced role has the potential to increase the usage and vibrancy of the facilities and also increase income to help cover running costs.”

And he added: “Community organisations may be able to access external funding sources to help make the venues increasingly successful.”

The council will be engaging with local groups and inviting interested parties to get in touch as it looks for ways to transfer the buildings back to the communities.

It has already held meetings with community councils and area partnerships.

Mr Goodfellow said: “This supports the council in making increasingly efficient use of resources.

“It enables us to continue working in partnership with local communities towards realising our vision for an even more prosperous, safe and sustainable East Lothian.”

Recommendations for the future of the buildings will be made following the end of the consultation period.