THE bell at a landmark former church building, now occupied by a space satellite company, is chiming out across Musselburgh once more after a mission to refurbish its clock.

The upgrade project was led by Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council which contributed £2,000 and received £10,000 from the Musselburgh Common Good Fund to cover the cost of the work at the former B-listed High Kirk of St Andrews, on High Street.

The building, which dates back to the 19th century, has been used as a dolls museum in the past and, now known as the Copernicus Kirk, is the headquarters of space technology company Astrosat.

The former church, featuring a central tower with a clock face on each side, was built in 1843 by renowned architect R Thornton Shiells.

A new digital mechanism has replaced cogs which operated the clock. The last has not sounded since 2015.

Irene Tait, community council chairperson, said: “I am delighted that the three clock faces on the building are now in working order. The job was undertaken by clockmakers Smiths of Derby. It has taken a few months from start to finish and we are very pleased indeed with the work they carried out.

“The clocks will chime from 8am on the hour until 9pm for the present. I would point out that the staff at Astrosat have been on hand to help out from a safety angle and when engineers or electricians were required. Astrosat are making a floodlight which will enhance the clocks from behind the structure in the winter months.”

“The community council is very pleased with the response from local people who seem to be delighted that a huge part of their Musselburgh history has been maintained. I would like to thank the Common Good Fund Committee, Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council members and Astrosat for all the support received”

Fraser Hamilton of Astrosat said: “Hidden in plain view in the heart of Musselbugh, Astrosat continues its mission to be the gateway to unlocking the secrets of satellite data and thereby empowering everyday data solutions for a changing tomorrow. This mission extends not only to the heady heights of space data but to our roots and how we can give back to the community, something that started by returning a central and iconic piece of architecture to practical use as a technology hub and serviceable office space.

“With the now re-commissioned clock tower operating successfully, the additional installation of backlighting will ensure that the faces of the clock tower remain visible in the night sky as a beacon at the crossroads to Musselburgh’s heart.

“The chimes of the bells have been silent for sometime in Musselburgh but, with the support provided by the community council, we are extremely proud to find ourselves as custodians of the hourly chimes.

“As they sound out across Musselburgh, it is another small example of benefits that the space industry can bring to the many people that consider themselves largely disconnected from it.”

The Musselburgh Common Good Committee is made up of the town’s councillors.

Chairman Stuart Currie commented: “We’re delighted to support the refurbishment of this landmark in the town. It is a great tribute to the community council that they identify projects that can be supported by the Common Good Funds that really help improve the town.”

Councillor John Willamson said: “It’s good to see the clocks working again after such a long period when they were out of action. Well done to the community council for taking the lead on this long overdue project.”

And Councillor Katie Mackie added: “It is great to see these clocks back in action thanks to the combined efforts of the community council and the Musselburgh Common Good Fund.”

While Councillor Andy Forrest said: “I welcome the work done by the community council to refurbish the clock at the church. It was also heartening to see local business Astrosat work with the community council regarding health and safety issues once the work was completed.”