PLANS for a new specialist sporting facility in North Berwick have taken a major step forward after a community-led group applied for planning permission.

The North Berwick Community Pump Track Group (NBCPTG) has applied for permission for a new cycling, skating and scooting facility on land beside Law Primary School and North Berwick High School.

A pump track is a looped trail of mounds, gradients and ridges made from asphalt for biking and scooting, and suitable for all ages and abilities.

Images show how the track might look, although a final design has not been decided.

Future design changes will be shared widely for further consultation.

The track will be the second of its kind in the county, after a similar facility opened in Ormiston last year to massive success.

NBCPTG has been working for many years to develop its proposals, gather community views and support, and access funding that will enable the project to progress.

Michael Paterson, chairman of the NBCPTG, told the Courier that he was delighted the plans were progressing so well.

He said: “After three years of work, we are delighted that the proposal is being brought to fruition. We would like to thank North Berwick Trust, East Lothian Council’s Sports Development, sportscotland and our funding partners for the dedicated work in getting to this stage.

“After overwhelming support from the community via consultation (which had in excess of 500 responses), we have worked together with North Berwick Trust and East Lothian Council to find an incredible site in a natural setting with inspiring views.

“As part of a biodiverse parkland, the pump track will serve as a safe, inclusive, outdoor learning space for the whole family.

“We have witnessed the benefits these facilities bring to communities both across Scotland and internationally.

“They have proven to promote physical fitness and co-ordination, as well as provide a vibrant, family-friendly place that encourages social interaction between a wide range of people within the community. Most importantly, they are incredible fun!

“We look forward to working alongside schools and local community groups to inspire and welcome people of all ages.”

The track is expected to cost about £115,000, depending on the final specification, with £100,000 already secured between East Lothian Council and sportscotland, with additional funding being finalised.

Construction from start to finish will take about four weeks, with Mr Paterson hoping it will open to the public in September or October.

The land will be leased by North Berwick Trust and the organisation was delighted to help make the vision a reality by providing space for the in-demand recreation facility.

Dr Libby Morris, from North Berwick Trust, said: “We are pleased to help bring this facility to North Berwick by providing land adjacent to existing schools and recreational facilities.

“As a trust, we understand the potential this type of facility has to keep people active, and want to play our part in supporting the North Berwick Community Pump Track Group.”

The plans have now been submitted to the East Lothian Council planning department, where council officials have already shown their support for the ambitious project.

Councillor Colin McGinn, East Lothian Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “Officers have been pleased to work alongside the North Berwick Community Pump Track Group to realise their ambitions to bring one of these incredible facilities to the town.

“We can see in other East Lothian communities the opportunities that pump tracks offer for all ages to learn, develop and improve biking and scooting skills.

“We see them as key facilities that encourage people of all ages to safely get outdoors and to live healthy lifestyles by encouraging adventure-based play within our wonderful East Lothian landscape.

“The North Berwick Trust’s support with the land has been critical to finding a space that will enhance the pump track and allow as many people as possible to enjoy it.”