Our Ambitions

East Lothian Council is focused on ensuring local communities continue to be great places in which to live and work, with an even more dynamic local economy.

With land for 10,050 new homes in the county by 2024, there are opportunities and challenges across all of our services.

Ambitious for East Lothian

The Council has a focus on ensuring existing and new communities continue to be great places in which to live and work, with an even more dynamic local economy.

Between now and 2033, the population of south east Scotland is expected to grow by 220,000 people. East Lothian Council’s Local Development Plan allocated land capable of delivering 10,050 new homes to 2024. It also identifies some 200 hectares of employment land for job creation.

East Lothian is one of six local authorities partnering with the UK and Scottish Governments to deliver the City Region Deal – a £1.3bn investment over 15 years that aims to accelerate economic growth and create opportunities for citizens across the entire South-East of Scotland.

Opportunities include the Housing, Construction and Infrastructure (HCI) Skills Gateway, which is focused on addressing a skills shortage in the construction sector, and the Data Driven Innovation (DDI) Skills Gateway, which aims to bring opportunities from the emerging data economy to disadvantaged communities.

More generally, the Council has a dedicated Growth Delivery Team, with ambitious plans to link the delivery of new homes, including affordable housing, with future opportunities for jobs, retail and leisure, while facilitating new and expanded schools, community, healthcare and recreation facilities as well as new transport infrastructure.

We are spending more than £174 million over the next five years on building new council housing and modernising existing stock.

We work with developers and housing associations to stay on track with our plans to deliver the maximum number of council houses, homes for social rent via housing associations, and low cost home ownership opportunities.

Key development projects include:

Old Craighall/land around Queen Margaret University
This is a development site of 116.5 hectares relating to land around Queen Margaret University (QMU) near Musselburgh. Development includes 1500 new homes, a new primary school, the provision of community facilities, a Food and Drink Innovation Hub and a wider Edinburgh Innovation Park site - components within the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal. The Innovation Hub will facilitate an expansion of the University’s existing Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation and will also provide flexible commercial space for small and medium sized businesses in the key food and drink sector.

New settlement on former Blindwells site
This is a 540-hectare site, to the north of Tranent, with planning permission in place for 1,600 homes, a school, business space, shops, sports facilities and parks. There is the potential for more than 6,000 homes on a larger safeguarded site. The new settlement is one of seven sites considered to be strategically significant within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. The Council’s vision is to see the new settlement develop into an exemplar community in which to live, work and play with mixed-tenure housing including affordable homes, first-class facilities and amenities, local employment opportunities, combined with a vibrant landscape. It presents opportunities for inward investment and job creation and should be a zero emissions community embracing climate change objectives, innovation and biodiversity.

Former Cockenzie Power Station site
Purchased in 2018 to promote economic development and employment opportunities, East Lothian Council is working to understand the full potential of the former Cockenzie Power Station, a 200-acre site. Our priority is to secure an outcome which supports the local economy and contributes to enhancing vibrant neighbouring communities.

Investing in people and learning
Reducing inequalities and improving attainment and closing the gap are key priorities for our Council. We aim to provide the best education service in Scotland through a relentless focus on inclusion, achievement, ambition and progress for all. We have a relentless focus on giving all of our children and young people the best start; working together to nurture them and helping them to achieve their potential.

We have six secondary and 34 primary schools across the county, with specialist provisions attached to our mainstream schools that support children and young people with additional support needs. A multi-million pound programme of modernisation, expansion and improvement of the learning estate is underway to develop education spaces that benefit East Lothian’s learners and communities. In total, £43m has been dedicated to the expansion and refurbishment of a range of facilities, including work to accommodate the expansion of early learning and childcare. In addition, East Lothian’s newest primary school at Letham Mains in Haddington opens this year.

Together with our partners we aim to offer excellence and equity for all of our children and young people at every stage of their learning journey. East Lothian is an active member of the South East Improvement Collaborative (SEIC), driving forward improvements in attainment and equity across the wider region, ensuring our children and young people benefit from economic growth.