THE Redevelopment of Prestonpans Civic Square is progressing well, with contractors confident it will be reopened to the public in time for Remembrance Sunday on November 13.

The regeneration works commenced in October last year, with a focus on repairing the surrounding walls, renewing paving and improving seating, and providing new space for commemoration and local heritage interpretation.

The square was originally unveiled in spring 1922 and it had been hoped that the revamped site would be ready for its centenary but this was not possible.

The plans were supported by the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund following a design competition that involved a judging panel from Prestonpans Community Council and the Royal British Legion. Rankinfraser Landscape Architecture was appointed by East Lothian Council to oversee the project.

The work has resulted in the removal of the 1950s viewing platform; instead, ‘openings’ have been created in the existing walls to create great viewpoints of the Forth.

The silent sentinel statue that has ‘stood guard’ over the High Street for over a century remains.

It is hoped the new memorial square will become an even greater focal point for the High Street, hosting events, markets and Remembrance ceremonies.

Research conducted by Prestonpans Community Council also discovered the names of fallen Prestonpans residents who were not previously included on the war memorial.

These names will now be included on the new memorial.

DJ Johnston-Smith, chairman of the community council, was happy to see the majority of the works finally coming to fruition.

He said: “Following an unfortunate period of unforeseen delay, community council members were relieved to learn that the majority of works will be completed in Prestonpans Civic Square in time for this year’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

“The new memorial will also be in place, commemorating those local individuals who fell during or as a consequence of World Wars One and Two, who sadly did not make it onto the original memorial for whatever reason.

“We look forward now to the next phase of Scottish Government-funded works here, which will hopefully see the somewhat unkempt and unloved area of ground just to the north of the square, right next to the foreshore, revamped and refurbished to encourage visitors and residents alike to spend more time on this part of the John Muir Way and to visit nearby businesses and sites of historic interest.”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The Prestonpans Civic Square project is proceeding very well, with the design by Rankinfraser Landscape Architecture being delivered to a very high standard by a local contractor, G Brown & Sons.

“The completed project will be a fantastic, rejuvenated civic space for the community, with framed views out to the Firth of Forth, which will provide a fitting setting for the existing war memorial and local activities and events.

“The square will also incorporate locally carved stone panels containing additional names of fallen soldiers from the First and Second World Wars, identified during research carried out by a local historian with support from members of the community.

“The aim is that Prestonpans Civic Square will reopen to the public on Remembrance Sunday – November 13 – however, there will be some further, minor works carried out after this date as some cope stones for the perimeter walls will not arrive in time due to the general ongoing issues with the construction industry supply chain.”