Our ambitions

As it serves one of Scotland’s fastest growing council areas, 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.

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 the next 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 adddressing a skills shortage in the construction sector, and the Data Drive 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.

Key projects include:


Reducing inequalities and raising the attainment gap is a key priority. While attainment remains higher than the national average, we are committed to giving all of our children and young people the best start. A multi-million pound programme of modernisation, expansion and new build programmes is underway to develop modern education facilities that benefit learners and communities across the county. Dunbar Grammar School’s recent extension delivered new home economics, pupil support rooms and community spaces for the town, while the development of a new primary school to support Wallyford’s growing population opened in 2019 including a new community library. East Lothian’s newest primary school is currently under construction at Letham Mains in Haddington and due to open in August 2020. £43m has been dedicated to expansion and refurbishment of a range of facilities across the county alongside work to accommodate early years expansion.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership and Integration Joint Board

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) is responsible for a wide range of health and social care services in East Lothian - including care homes; care at home; adult protection; mental health, substance misuse and disability services; criminal justice social work; physiotherapy; occupational therapy; school nursing and even some hospital services, such as A&E. We work under the direction of the East Lothian IJB, which is responsible for the strategic planning, resourcing and governance of health and social care services in the county. Our vision is ‘Best health, best care, best value for our communities’. We believe in care closer to home, early intervention and prevention, a person-centred approach, good joint working with partners, and listening to and involving our stakeholders.

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 site. Our priority is to secure an outcome which supports the local economy and contributes to enhancing vibrant neighbouring communities.