SCOTLAND’S first surf performance centre should be open by the summer.

Belhaven Surf Centre Ltd was given the green light to open a ‘surf hub’ on Belhaven’s Shore Road last May.

Construction work on the building, which will be used by a number of community groups, got under way last week.

Alasdair Swan, finance director for Belhaven Surf Centre, said: “Work has now started. We are hoping that the building will be completed in mid-summer but like all these projects it is weather dependent. We are expecting to be open before the autumn.”

The two-storey building, which is expected to cost in the region of £250,000, with funding provided by Leader, WREN, East Lothian Council, Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership, BeGreen, Community Wind Farm and private donations, is the first of its kind in Scotland.

As well as providing a home for Coast to Coast Surf School, it will be utilised by a number of other groups, including East Lothian Countryside Ranger Service, The Wave Project and Dunbar Surf Life Saving Club.

Mr Swan said: “The surf centre is a community building.

“It is currently not for profit but we hope to move it to full charitable status.

“It exists to support the various surfing organisations in Dunbar.

“Dunbar is getting a growing reputation for wonderful surfing but does not have any facility to welcome people from around the world to Dunbar.”

Downstairs in the building, which measures 10 metres by 10 metres, will including a teaching room and small office.

Changing rooms, hot showers and storage will also be included, with the upstairs featuring two meeting rooms, one of them available for hire by community groups, the other likely to be leased to one of the local charities.

Ward councillor Paul McLennan was pleased to see work starting. He said: “I think it is fantastic, a great initiative and I think you are going to see more and more people there.”

Ward colleague Councillor Norman Hampshire was similarly pleased.

He said: “Obviously, there has been a huge growth in the people coming to Dunbar and Belhaven Bay to do surfing.

“To have this facility right on the beach area will be a huge benefit to all surfers coming to that area.”