A PUBLIC vote starts today to decide how the £25,000 Salt of the Earth Community Heritage Fund will be allocated.

Everyone over the age of eight, who lives in the Preston Seton Gosford area, can vote for projects to recieve a portion of the funding from the Heritage Lottery and the Preston Seton Gosford Area Partnership which is supported by East Lothian Council.

The community were asked to put forward ideas for projects which will have a positive impact in promoting local heritage and benefit the communities of Prestonpans, Cockenzie and Port Seton, and Longniddry.

Nineteen projects submitted applications.

Voting will take place today (Tuesday 26 November) at Prestonpans Community Centre 3.30pm-8pm.

Tomorrow (Wednesday 27 November) at Port Seton community Centre 3.30pm- 8pm.

And Thursday (28 November) 4pm-8pm at Longniddry Community Centre 4pm-8pm.

There will be a final chance to vote on Wednesday 4 December, 5pm-7pm at Preston Lodge High School.

Representatives from each project will have a chance to pitch to voters at this event and they will be there to answer questions. Funding will be awarded at this event, and there will be music and refreshments. 

Some of the projects include: restoring Dr Black's Clock' Preston Tower becoming the base for re-enactments of the Battle of Prestonpans; the journey home of ring-net boat The Shermaron, which was launched from Cockenzie Harbour, and for the boat to be made a floating museum; the digitisation and virtual exhibition of model boats; the digital scanning of Preston Tower in order for it to be accessed virtually; a Preston Lodge High School mural; and a heritage tapestry art project by residents at Harlawhill Day Care Centre.

A total of £5,000 has been set aside to be split between smaller projects and the further £20,000 has been set aside for 16 larger projects.

Each group has requested an amount specific to their project; the number of projects which secure funding will depend on the public vote.

Project Manager Jill de Fresnes said: “The idea behind the heritage fund is to give back to the people who are supporting the lottery by putting money back into their communities.

“Most of the groups which have submitted applications are run by volunteers. There are many people who are putting projects together who have never done anything like this before.

“I want to encourage creative and inclusive ways for people to get a sense of the history of the area, whether that is by people who are from here or people who have moved into the community.”

A further £25,000 will be available for a second round of projects in 2020.

Smaller projects:

  • Dylan Bell – Preston Lodge High School Mural Project;
  • Waggonway – Oral History Project;
  • Ian Donaldson poetry booklet with photographs by Jim Nisbet and Eric Dickson.

Larger projects:

  • Harlawhill Day Care Centre – Heritage Tapestry Art Project;
  • Prestonpans Community Council – Preston Tower Scanning/Digitisation Project;
  • Boatie Blest – Digitisation and Virtual Exhibition of Model Boats;
  • Battlefield Trust – Preston Tower as a base for re-enactment and community participation;
  • Waggonway – Salt House;
  • Preston Lodge Learning Foundation– School Archive Digitisation Project;
  • Lighthouse Art Project – Heritage as inspiration for art;
  • The Shemaron – Ring-net boat; Journey Home and launch as a floating museum to Cockenzie Harbour;
  • Tom Ewing [artist] – Johnny Moat Film and Mural;
  • Cockenzie and Port Seton Bloomers – Education programme; ‘Growing, harvesting and cooking as our grandparents did’;
  • Marietta Di Ciacca/Cockenzie House – Her Stories women’s history project;
  • Prestongrange Festival – Mining heritage, music and literature;
  • Dr Black’s Clock – Repair and towards reinstatement;
  • Seton Archaeological Society – three centuries of PSG history; Model Map making and Heritage Chamber at Cockenzie House;
  • Pennypit Centre – Unicorn Quest; Children’s Heritage Scavenger Hunt;
  • Railway Society – Prestongrange interpretation and education project.

Information on each of the projects can be found on the project's Facebook page facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthPSG