PROGRESS towards the reopening of Dirleton Castle has been welcomed by a county-based MSP.

Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, visited the castle along with representatives of Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Dirleton Village Association and also Gullane and Dirleton History Society.

HES is currently reviewing the results of the inspection and, following this, will confirm a roadmap on the castle’s reopening. Dirleton Castle, alongside Tantallon Castle, near North Berwick, are among HES’s priority sites for reopening.

In January last year, both were closed “indefinitely” due to the threat of falling masonry caused by climate change.

Following the visit, Mr Hoy said: “I am very grateful to Historic Environment Scotland for engaging with the community on the reopening of Dirleton Castle and Tantallon Castle, and I look forward to hearing from them shortly about a prospective timescale.

“The visit was very informative on the surveying which has been carried out, as well as future work needed to fully reopen the site.”

Clive Cruickshank, district architect at HES, said: “Dirleton and Tantallon castles are hugely significant heritage sites and we are working as quickly as we can to reopen both sites to visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We are currently reviewing the findings from the inspections and hope to provide visitors with an update on timescales soon.”

Carol Anne Tweedie, from Gullane and Dirleton History Society, said: “We are thrilled that some parts of Dirleton Castle will reopen and that most of the safety fencing will disappear. We look forward to hearing about timescales for future, necessary conservation works.”