A REPURPOSED single-decker bus will soon be hitting the road as part of a new youth outreach programme.

Tranent-based social enterprise Heavy Sound CIC has commandeered an old bus and, after collaborating with the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), the bus will be transformed into a portable community service complete with music production equipment, a food prep kitchen and a small hairdressing space.

Jordan Butler, founder of Heavy Sound, said: “The bus is a long-standing idea of my colleague Linda [Bendle] and it really captures the spirit of what we try and do here at Heavy Sound, which is use music to create aims and aspirations through youth work.”

The bus is being converted by HMP Edinburgh – more commonly known as Saughton Prison – which will allow prisoners to receive accreditation for working on it.

Jordan added: “The men and women who are working on the bus are gaining new skills that will help them in the world of work when they get out, which is fantastic.

“The plan is that the bus is completed by the end of the month and is up and running and in use by mid-September.”

The bus will also work with local services and national services including Shelter, Barnardo’s, Edinburgh Aid and Abet and the homeless booking service, in order to increase support.

Jordan added: “Even if the bus doesn’t last for ever, or there are areas we can’t get back to quickly, it will help identify key activities that are worth keeping for each place.

“If something we do goes down really well and is really successful, then even if we don’t supply it, there will be some other group that can supply it and know that it will work well.

“We have had so much support from the council to local charities who are getting involved. It’s really exciting!”

The Heavy Sound base is situated at 56 High Street, Tranent.