PART of the historic North Berwick Harbour wall is undergoing urgent emergency repair work.

The early intervention work aims to stabilise the inner face of the bottom part of the north-west wall, beside the boat entrance to the harbour.

The harbour area, which is B-listed, has been managed and maintained by North Berwick Harbour Trust Association (NBHTA) since 2007.

In preparation for NBHTA to become the harbour authority, a survey of the harbour and associate council buildings was carried out early in 2017 by a conservation-credited engineer at David Narro Associates.

The survey identified weaknesses in some of the harbour structures.

The north-west wall was highlighted as requiring necessary, urgent action and made a top priority by the harbour trust association.

After months of surveying, discussions and planning, work on this section of wall began last week. The first stage will investigate the best position and design of essential anchors needed to stabilise the structure.

The second stage centres on the installation of these anchors, with the final stage being replacement of stonework.

Bill Roberts, secretary of NBHTA, said: “We apologise for any inconvenience during the project, which involves the temporary removal of benches along the east and north sides of the harbour to allow specialist machine access; cordoning off for a works compound on the esplanade; and intermittent interruption in harbour access for boats.”

While the work takes place, both boat access and pedestrian access to the north wall path will be restricted.

Some of the Lobster Shack’s new seating area will be dismantled while initial and heavy machinery work is carried out.

There will also be some restrictions at the harbour entrance for boat owners.

The whole project is expected to last for about five months.

Although it is hoped the initial investigatory work will be completed next month, much of the major structural work in the third phase of the project will not be completed until June.

Boats are expected to return to harbour waters in April.

NBHTA received about £500,000 in funding for the work from several grants.

NBHTA has carried out a number of large and small projects throughout its tenure.

Smaller projects and maintenance, such as the beach huts and opening up the old swimming pool cubicles for storage, are paid for through local funding or the NBHTA’s own budget.

Bigger, extensive projects and emergency repairs, such as the sea defence wall on the esplanade, are paid for through grant funding.