A LIFELINE has been thrown to the cash-strapped Hollies Community Hub in Musselburgh with an injection of £32,000 from the town’s Common Good Fund.

The High Street facility, which has provided services for elderly people for 60 years, was at risk of imminent closure due to a funding crisis, with fears that it might have to shut its doors at the end of the month.

Emergency funding was sought from the Musselburgh Common Good Fund, which is administered by the town’s four ward councillors.

READ MOREPetition launched to save the Hollies, with fears it could shut this month

However, in the run-up to next week’s council elections, the application was handled in line with standing orders and approved political recess arrangements by council leader Norman Hampshire, depute leader Shamin Akhtar, provost John McMillan and depute provost Andy Forrest.

Hollies manager Liz Shannon said this week: “We are very grateful for the grant from the Musselburgh Common Good Fund to support our services over the next couple of months.

"This will allow us some breathing space to continue our services. Now Covid-19 restrictions have lifted, we can now concentrate on being financially sustainable going forward.”

The Hollies, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), relies on funding from outside agencies to allow it to provide a service and applications to funders so far this year were unsuccessful.

The hub is responsible for maintenance of the building, which is leased from the council.

A GoFundMe page was set up and a petition launched urging local people to get behind the campaign to save the Hollies Community Hub, which has a lunch club, public cafe and ladies’ hairdressers salon.

More than 650 people have signed the online petition and over 1,000 signatures are expected when paper copies are added to the total.

READ MORECollapse of ceiling at the Hollies in Musselburgh 'shows urgent need' for funding

The petition, which is still ongoing, will be presented to the council and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie to demonstrate what the Hollies means to the community and how they feel about the facility and its services.

Ms Shannon said: “Thank you to all the people who signed our petition and donated to our GoFundMe page.

“Our customers, especially our lunch club members, will be relieved that we are not closing at this time.

“Please continue to support us by coming in to use our services and the new services we are working on will be up and running soon.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Services at the Hollies are provided by a community hub and East Lothian Council officers have worked with the management team in the past to facilitate possible external funding sources. Under the terms of the lease from the council, the tenant [the Hollies] is responsible for all aspects of repair and maintenance.

“Officers directed the Hollies management team to relevant funds including the Musselburgh Common Good. Our officers will continue to offer support to the Hollies following the award that has been made to them.”

Colin Beattie, Musselburgh MSP, said: “I’m very pleased the Hollies have received this funding.

“The services provided by the Hollies are invaluable to many in the Musselburgh community and I know this funding will provide the Hollies with a much-needed lifeline to the current challenges they face. However, there is a need for a long-term solution to be put in place to ensure these services continue.”

The online petition can be viewed at change.org/p/save-the-hollies-community-hub-in-musselburgh and it is available at the hub.

The hub’s ongoing fundraising activities continue with a jumble sale this Saturday from 10am to 2pm.