A FARM shop devastated by fire is getting ready to reopen its doors after more than 10 months of closure.

Fenton Barns Farm Shop was destroyed in a deliberate blaze in the early hours of Christmas Eve last year.

Now, Roy Campbell, managing director of Glenfinlas Ltd, which manages the shop, is almost ready to welcome back customers.

He told the Courier how customers turned up on Christmas Eve last year looking to pick up their turkeys for Christmas dinner but found what was left of the building was a crime scene.

He said: “The fire brigade were alerted quite early on as somebody confronted the people responsible.

“They were able to put out the fire in the office but we did lose everything in the shop and the cafe.

“We arrived that morning and we were going to be working in the shop on Christmas Eve because people came to collect their turkeys.

“We arrived at 9.30am and police and fire service were still in attendance because it was a crime scene.

“People started turning up to pick up their turkeys and there was tape across the entrance.

“Most of them got turkeys somewhere else and we eventually that day got access to the building.”

More than 1.5 tonnes of food was ruined in the blaze, with the business cleared out over the next week to 10 days.

Calls had to be made to insurers but, because of the time of the year, progress was slow.

Work to breathe new life into the building was not without its problems either.

Mr Campbell, who has been running the farm shop since 2006, said that contractors had been on site earlier this year but then found work halted due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Staff were furloughed during the process, said Mr Campbell, who also runs Carlyle House Cafe, off Haddington’s High Street.

Now, the finish line is in sight, with the farm shop reopening its doors tomorrow (Friday).

Mr Campbell said: “My wife and I used the kitchen at Carlyle House in Haddington to make ready meals from the beginning of April right through to late September.

“We made 2,500 and we delivered them to the customers.

“Most of them were regular customers to Fenton Barns and we were delivering all round East Lothian.

“That kept us in touch and our customers have been really keen to come back.

“Carlyle House opened on October 1 and has been absolutely packed.

“We hope the same thing will happen at Fenton Barns. It is quite a big space so people should feel safe.”

In September, Gullane man Ryan Gillies, 23, was jailed for 21 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for setting fire to the farm shop.

He admitted recklessly setting light to the shop and café whereby property and stock was damaged.

Gillies also broke into Gullane Golf Club that night and stole alcohol.

And he also admitted acting in an aggressive manner towards a man and threatening him with violence at the farm shop on Christmas Eve last year.