During these discombobulating times, my suspicions on reading proposals for a motor-racing circuit at Musselburgh Lagoons (‘Plans for Formula 1 race track at Musselburgh Lagoons revealed’, Courier, January 6) were that I must have been in a Covid-induced coma or taken tea with the Russian President and awakened on April 1, All Fools’ Day.

I’m all in favour of thinking big and being bold, but this harebrained notion is one surely for the birds.

International motor-racing circuits are notoriously perilous from a financial standpoint, frequently underwritten by national/regional/local governments seeking to portray a global, ‘Life in the fast lane’ image, Singapore, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, China, Russia, Monaco et al.

And, if promoting East Lothian to the world through Formula 1’s global TV footprint is the name of the game, forget it. F1 worldwide TV coverage has plummeted of late, the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board reporting F1 viewers in the UK alone declined by 13.6 per cent in 2019.

The council have said no formal planning application has been received to date; before that, a feasibility study/risk assessment/environmental impact/comparison with other options for this valuable space must surely be conducted.

Moreover, East Lothian already has a world-class sporting attraction under its ownership: it’s called the Musselburgh Links, the oldest golf course in the world, an original Open Championship venue, hosting the event six times between 1874 and 1889.

To its eternal shame, this truly unique piece of sporting heritage, sitting at the western end of what is proudly called Scotland’s Golf Coast, currently looks rather unloved, its enormous potential as a landmark global visitor attraction scandalously unfulfilled.

Used by a few hardy locals but scarcely registering on the radar of high-value golf traditionalists from home and abroad – USA, Japan and China in particular – the few who do visit expecting to play this most authentic piece of golf real estate must surely be thoroughly underwhelmed and bitterly disappointed.

Given the extent to which local, national and international tourism has been decimated by Covid, this must be the right time for those responsible for promoting Scotland’s Golf Coast, and indeed Scotland as ‘The Home of Golf’, to be bold and launch a major tourism bounceback initiative aimed at elevating the oldest and most historic golf course on the planet up to the level it deserves and demands.

Mike Wilson