LIVE music, theatre and children’s shows look set to return to Haddington Corn Exchange for the first time in more than four years.

The venue was closed for refurbishment work in February 2019, before the Covid pandemic forced a lengthier closure.

The building was then used as a vaccination centre but it could become a hive of activity once again, with Brunton Theatre Trust taking out a short-term lease on the building.

The Musselburgh venue’s theatre auditorium and other performance spaces closed in March after reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was found in the roof.

Now, work is being carried out to transform the Corn Exchange into a venue for tribute bands, comedy, children’s shows and theatre.

The last booking was for a ballroom dancing group in January 2019.

Michael Stitt, chair of Brunton Theatre Trust, said: “We are excited by this opportunity to enhance the audience experience at the Corn Exchange and to build on The Brunton’s successful brand, delivering high-quality professional arts and entertainment events.

“We are dedicated to bringing the very best theatre, music, dance, comedy, children’s theatre, screenings and entertainment to East Lothian, sharing it with as many people as possible.

“Whilst we are very disappointed not to be able to do this at The Brunton at the moment, we are determined to drive forward with this vision and not to be defeated by the issues with the roof at The Brunton building.

“The Corn Exchange is an additional venue for us, adding to the programme we are building at Loretto School Theatre and Northesk Parish Church.

“Whilst we do not know at this stage how long we will be out of The Brunton building, we are committed to transferring our professionalism to presenting our shows at these wonderful, alternative venues.”

Bespoke sound, lighting and staging design is being carried out at the Court Street venue ahead of the curtain going up on October 6.

Audiences can expect comfortable seating and a professional sound and lighting experience.

Magic Queen will be the first band to play in the venue in a number of years.

Following them, entertainment including Talon – The Best of Eagles; The Story of Guitar Heroes; Buddy Holly & the Cricketers; Crown Ballet presents The Nutcracker; and Gilded Balloon’s Big Fab Comedy Show is planned.

During the pilot, audiences will be asked for their feedback, while Brunton Theatre Trust will engage with local hospitality businesses to enhance the evening experience.

Councillor John McMillan, who lives in Haddington, is the local authority’s spokesperson for environment, economic development and tourism.

He said: “Situated in the heart of the town, the Corn Exchange is a valued local resource for Haddington. East Lothian Council, working with Brunton Theatre Trust, has an opportunity to reopen the Corn Exchange as a vibrant destination for arts and entertainment events.

“This will offer the well-being benefits of attendance at, and participation in, a range of cultural activities as well as bringing economic benefit to local Haddington businesses.

“A warm welcome awaits locals, East Lothian residents and visitors from further afield who come and experience these fantastic live events in Haddington.”

Tickets for The Brunton’s events at the Corn Exchange and Musselburgh venues can be booked at