PLANS to create a community hub in a former pub in Prestonpans have been lodged with East Lothian Council.

The former Johnnie Cope on Hawthorn Road has been used for a number of different activities since it closed as a pub several years ago.

The building, which is owned by former Hibs footballer Paul Kane, has been host to a dance studio, then a cafe and bistro before permission was granted to turn the ground floor into a shop in 2016.

More recently it has been leased to J&L Boxing Club, which has already put wheels in motion to create a community centre for local residents.

Now Mr Kane has asked council planners to approve a change of use for the whole building from a pub to let him turn the ground floor into a cafe and two public hall rooms, and the first floor into the boxing gym and treatment room.

Jay Tuveri, who runs the boxing club with partner Laura Casement, said they moved into the first floor of the building in October and hope to take over the ground floor as well once plans are given the go-ahead.

He said: “We’ve already turned it into a community hub offering fitness classes as well as boxing for kids; we have a group of disadvantaged kids coming from East Lothian Works and are in discussion with a football team to provide training. We also have an activity club for youngsters on a Sunday and a soft play area.”

The club now has 76 children attending boxing classes and said that adult classes are steadily increasing in numbers.

It is hoped that providing community services will help support the centre as it looks to become a central part of the community.

Jay said: “The business is slowly getting recognised in the community but we are eager to increase its use and find funding to help us keep it up and running with the best service we can provide.”

The application for change of use is under consideration by council planners.