A NEW community shelter has been installed in the Lodge Grounds in North Berwick – with plans afoot for a similar structure on Quality Street.

The shelter in the Lodge was the idea of 12 young people from North Berwick Youth Project and North Berwick High School’s Prince’s Trust group.

Work started on the project last year when it was highlighted that there were few locations in the town where the youngsters felt safe.

With help from staff at the youth project, the group carried out a consultation.

They asked members of the public and those who use the youth project to choose which locations were best for shelters.

The results were overwhelmingly in favour of the Lodge Grounds, with a second shelter on the east side of Quality Street – near to the town’s public toilets and across the street from the North Berwick Fry – also on the wishlist.

The shelter in the Lodge has now been built – but the prospect of a similar structure in the town centre is still in the very early planning stages.

Lauren Cowie, of North Berwick Youth Project, said: “There used to be three shelters in the Lodge Grounds but none of these exist at all now.

“I hope young people are going to use it [the Lodge Grounds shelter], but I also hope everyone will use it and want to use it as well. The shelter is for everyone and they can use it for a variety of things, such as meeting up or escaping the rain to read a book.”

Volunteers from Glasclune Gardens offered their help alongside East Lothian Council, who helped build it.

Lauren was pleased to see work start on the Lodge Grounds shelter, which includes seating, in recent weeks.

She said: “All of a sudden, [East Lothian Council] said they were just going to start building it.

“We have had some issues along the way which held us back slightly. We were lucky to get £5,000 from the area partnership and we asked for £2,000 more for lighting.

“The lighting was going to be linked to the street lighting that already exists but we don’t have the budget to be paying a bill every month.

“As lighting wasn’t possible, we decided to place it near the street lights and hope they will provide enough light. If we get feedback saying it is too dark or more lighting needs to be put in place, we will certainly look at that.”

The shelter is the same design as one installed in Garvald last year.

The youth project is planning to place a plaque on the shelter and is looking for name suggestions which can be sent to Lauren at lauren.cowie@northberwickyouthproject.co.uk

Meanwhile, the youth project is keen to progress plans for a similar shelter on Quality Street.

It is likely a second public consultation exercise will be held before any planning application is submitted.

Lauren said that the group had been focusing its attention on the shelter in the Lodge Grounds but now that that project was almost complete they would look to have architectural drawings created to show how a town centre shelter could look.

Judy Lockhart, chair of the town’s community council, said: “The community council is aware the youth project is considering a shelter on Quality Street. We will discuss the plans in due course.

“If residents have comments or feedback they would like us to consider, these should be sent to our secretary Kathryn Smith at secretary@northberwickcommunitycouncil.org.uk