East Lothian community cafe saved from closure with £30,000 grant 

The Hollies in Musselburgh has been given funding from the council to cope with increased running costs.

East Lothian community cafe The Hollies saved from closure with £30,000 grant STV News

An East Lothian community café has been saved from risk of closure for the time being.  

The Hollies in Musselburgh told STV News last week that it would be forced to close within days if the not-for-profit charity couldn’t secure funding.  

Trustees said the double blow of rising running costs paired with struggles to secure grants to pay the bills had become too much.  

But now The Hollies have confirmed the doors will be staying open on High Street. 

It’s been granted £30,000 from East Lothian Council’s common good fund, which according to The Hollies Facebook page “will see us to the beginning of next year.” 

The local authority says it was able to revisit the application in light of new information “regarding the ability to access underspend funds from the previous financial year.” 

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Decisions for grant awards in excess of £10,000 require to be referred to a full meeting of East Lothian Council for a decision. Whilst noting concerns about the ongoing viability of The Hollies, the committee agreed that a grant of £30,000 should be awarded to The Hollies.  

“Committee members felt an award at this level would provide an opportunity for the board to demonstrate that these concerns could be addressed going forward. Committee members also agreed a recommendation should be made to The Hollies to engage with Volunteer Centre East Lothian (VCEL) and the council’s Economic Development team to develop a sustainable business plan and consider their ongoing management arrangements.  

“At yesterday’s full council meeting, elected members considered the matter and approved a grant of £30,000 to The Hollies.” 

This will prove to be welcome news to many in the Musselburgh community who said that closing The Hollies would be a major blow. 

One customer said last week: “It’s ridiculous closing a place like this down.”  

Another added: “It is going to be a very sadly missed place.”  

Mary, who is 93, and previously volunteered at the Hollies said: “It’s a shame that it’s happening, it really is, it’s shocking.”  

The Hollies Facebook page said a further update will be provided in the near future on the café. 

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