A STUDY into the potential of a port or cruise terminal at the former Cockenzie Power Station site has been given the go-ahead by East Lothian Council.

Councillors have agreed to have a technical study carried out which will look at the feasibility of turning the site into a commercial port.

The move comes nearly a year after Prestonpans Community Council put forward its case for a cruise port at the site and follows repeated calls from the group for the council to carry out a study on the concept’s potential.

At a meeting of East Lothian Council this week, elected members heard a report updating them on the current status of the site, which they took ownership of from ScottishPower last year.

The report was heard in private because of the commercial nature of ongoing efforts to market the site to potential investors. However, the council confirmed afterwards that the proposed study had been given the green light.

A spokesperson said: “Prior to marketing the site extensively, the council wishes to understand the full potential of the site it owns. Given the strategic nature of the site, it was decided that the council would progress a technical study into potential cruise/port-related activity, determining whether a proposal of this nature would be feasible.”

Councillors also agreed to continue talks with Inch Cape Offshore Ltd in a bid to reduce the footprint of its planned substation, which was given approval by Scottish Ministers last week, and ensure as much land as possible is retained.

Councillor John McMillan, cabinet spokesperson for economic development, said: “The former power station site was acquired to support the council’s ambitions for promoting economic growth in the local area and creating employment opportunities.

"We want to secure an outcome which ensures sufficient land remains available for opportunities to boost the local economy and support employment, as well as meeting the aspirations of local communities.”