CALLS have been made to ensure that as many local jobs as possible are created through the delivery of two large-scale energy projects.

Berwick Bank Wind Farm, which will consist of potentially more than 200 turbines, will be created about 40 kilometres off the East Lothian coast.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Link project involves £1.6 billion of underwater cabling linking Thorntonloch Beach, near Dunbar, and Hawthorn Pit in County Durham.

Representatives behind the two schemes have been keeping in touch with East Lammermuir Community Council, which covers villages including Stenton, Spott, Innerwick and Oldhamstocks.

Chris Bruce, chairman of the group, said: “Overall, the community council would be keen to support efforts to tackle the climate emergency, which this is presented as being critical to.

“From our perspective, a massive amount of the infrastructure work is all in the East Lammermuirs.

“We have been asking the different developers to think together about what they can do to offset the impact and respond to what local communities might want to see them doing.”

One potential positive Mr Bruce was keen to see addressed was the possibility of working to ensure local people benefited from the possibility of jobs being created.

He was keen to see the developers work with groups such as The Ridge, based in Dunbar, to offer sustained employment during the various construction phases.

Similarly, he was hopeful that opportunities could be explored to improve the connectivity between the various villages.

Mr Bruce was keen to see the path networks improved but acknowledged the number of people using the routes was often small.

Paul McLennan, MSP for East Lothian, has also been meeting with developers in a bid to ensure that the energy projects benefit people living in the area.

Mr McLennan described the two projects as “very exciting energy proposals for the whole of East Lothian, especially for the East Lammermuir community”.

He said: “I recently chaired an East Lothian Energy Forum which was attended by all the major energy companies, as well as the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Engineering, Edinburgh College, Queen Margaret University and East Lothian Council.

“During the meeting, the potential for each project was explored – including the opportunity of the creation of a number of jobs for local people.

“I have been working very closely with East Lammermuir Community Council in this field of work and intend to make sure they are kept up-to-date with any progress made as we continue to move forward.

“The next East Lothian Energy Forum is due to be held in June and will focus on four main areas: skills, manufacturing and supply, community benefits, and fuel poverty.”

Kenny MacAskill, East Lothian MP, said: “I think the community council are right to raise this and it’s an issue I’ve been pursuing myself.

“This should be a huge opportunity for the community, the council and the country.

“Sadly, as with oil and gas, the revenues from offshore wind are passing us by.

“East Lothian won’t even get the sums that accrued to Shetland from oil and gas, despite the similarities between Sullom Voe being the terminus from offshore North Sea oil and gas and East Lothian, whether at Cockenzie or Thorntonloch, being the landing point for the wind energy revolution.

“Sadly, it’s not just revenues but supply chain jobs.

“There are local businesses seeking opportunity and local folk seeking work but, as it’s not specified in the contracts, the work will go elsewhere – often abroad. Locally even construction work has been tendered outwith the county and labour brought in from elsewhere.

“It’s simply absurd that the only local jobs should be the odd security guard or something similar.

“Both governments require to ensure that East Lothian benefits from the bounty off its shores.”

The Berwick Bank wind farm, which consists of the previous Berwick Bank and Marr Bank offshore wind farms, already has secured a grid connection at Branxton, near Torness.

A second grid connection will be required for the project.

If consented, it is hoped it will have a capacity of up to 4.1GW, making it one of the largest offshore opportunities in the world currently in development.