A community-run centre for older people near Edinburgh has been given a temporary reprieve following a u-turn by the local authority.
The Hollies Community Hub in Musselburgh had been facing the threat of immediate closure, but after locals and local MSPs rallied round in support of the centre, East Lothian Council agreed emergency funding.
Locals had organised a petition in support of the centre and other local groups, such as Musselburgh Athletic football club, staged fundraisers for a crowdfunding effort.
Regional MSP and Scottish Greens co-leader, Lorna Slater, wrote to the Council in support of the centre and was backed by constituency SNP MSP Colin Beattie. Mr Beattie told the local paper:
“The services provided by the Hollies are invaluable to many in the Musselburgh community.”
The Hollies has now received a a £32,000 ‘lifeline’ from the town’s community fund and centre manager, Liz Shannon, welcomed the news:
“We are very grateful for the grant from the Musselburgh Common Good Fund to support our services over the next couple of months.
“This will allow us some breathing space to continue our services.”
Scottish Greens candidate for Musselburgh in the local elections, Shona McIntosh, warned that a longer-term solution was still needed. McIntosh commented:
“Hollies Community Hub is precisely the kind of community-led service I would urge the Council to prioritise.
“Sadly the struggles the Hollies are facing are symptomatic of the health and social care crisis in East Lothian. The Hub needs a secure future and I would urge the Council to play a full role in helping to deliver that.”