A COMMUNITY group’s bid to improve Dunbar’s town centre has been given the thumbs up by a Scottish minister.

Aileen Campbell MSP, cabinet secretary for communities and local government, paid a visit to the town.

She was met by staff and volunteers from The Ridge, who spoke about their work at the Backlands Garden site.

Volunteers also spoke about how The Ridge and its services had impacted on their lives.

Ms Campbell was also impressed by the work being carried out by the Ridge Foundations team, who are currently restoring the Black Bull Close buildings that sit at the head of the gardens.

Until recently, the buildings had lain in ruins, in real danger of being lost forever.

While under restoration and looking forward to a more useful future, the buildings now act as a training environment for the Ridge Foundations trainees and apprentices, as they learn and hone their new skills in masonry and joinery.

The MSP said: “Visiting The Ridge gave me an insight into the wide range of projects and support they provide, including the Backlands site, the Hungry Hatch Cafe and the exciting restoration work at Black Bull Close.

“These projects provide great food, green spaces to enjoy and improve Dunbar as a place to live and visit.

“This innovative enterprise also provides local people with opportunities for training, employment and volunteering and helps improve health and wellbeing.

“The success of The Ridge is a testament to the dedication of staff and volunteers, transforming people’s lives and physically regenerating the heart of Dunbar.”

A spokeswoman for The Ridge was “thrilled” to welcome the politician.

She added: “As an organisation, we are deeply embedded within the community and believe passionately that everyone has a really valuable contribution to make.

“We are committed to providing opportunities for people to overcome barriers to achieving their full potential.

“Ms Campbell could see and understood how the many Ridge offerings provide a holistic environment for those more vulnerable members of our community to thrive.”