Dunbar Community Bakery is a step closer to opening its doors after signing a 25-year lease on a high street shop.

It has now started converting the premises into a working bakery with a small café attached, and has submitted a formal application for planning consent to East Lothian Council.

The community-led initiative hopes to recruit more shareholders to help meet its £180,000 target, which will be used to renovate the shop and install a bakery production unit in the flat-roof extension, as well as providing enough working capital to last for two years.

Chairperson Jane Wood said: “So far we have raised nearly £34,000 from 248 shareholders, but we now aim to be more ambitious.”

The community bakery has recently received £12,000 in new grants from the Big Lottery Fund and Cooperative Development Scotland, and is waiting to hear about a further £120,000 in grant funding applications. “Initial indications have been encouraging,” said Wood, “and we should know the definitive result of these applications by the end of the year.”

She said the bakery’s opening date would depend on how long it took to get planning consent. “We can only start to fit out the premises and hire staff once that green light has been given.”

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