Landowner and developer enjoy VIP tour of East Lothian primary school

Bruce Murray and Derek Lawson with some of the pupils from the school

LANDOWNERS who contributed to the creation of a new primary school in East Lothian have been given a VIP tour alongside the wider project’s principal developer.

Andrew Bain took his first full tour of Letham Mains Primary alongside Derek Lawson of Cala Homes (East), which oversaw the creation of the wider 800-home masterplan development that has delivered a major extension of Haddington.

Robert Dykes, another previous landowner of the school site, was also represented at the visit – with his son Robbie taking the tour in his place. Between Andrew and Robert, the landowners gifted the land used for the school build and contributed a seven-figure sum towards the project.

The visit culminated in the awarding of the Cala Cup, a trophy that will be presented each year at the school sports day to the captain of the house that secures the highest number of points.

The school, which opened in 2021, became the first in East Lothian to be funded entirely through contributions arising from the development and forms part of the investment programme to the west of the town.

Headteacher Bruce Murray said, “Without the wider development we wouldn’t have this school so it’s been a great opportunity to show Andrew, Robbie and Cala around the school. The facilities we have are state of the art and they are providing a motivating and engaging learning environment. We have wonderful pupils and caring staff.

“We were also very grateful to accept the Cala Cup. We hope this marks the beginning of a new tradition and can add further meaning to our school sports days.”

The Letham Mains masterplan has also delivered a civic square and linear park in addition to a sports pavilion for the school and surrounding community, which is currently being built.

Andrew Bain, former landowner of the school site, said, “To see the land transform into a hub for education is very rewarding. It was a wonderful experience finally being able to see the school up-and-running.”

Robbie Dykes, son of former landowner Robert Dykes, added, “For pupils and teachers to take time out of their day to show us this wonderful school was a great occasion. It was excellent to have seen the enthusiasm of the staff and pupils for their new school. We are delighted to have played a small part in this fantastic project.”

Cala revealed it also contributed to a fund which brought an art installation to the civic square, as well as contributing bike and footpath connections between Letham Views and Haddington, which has seen the construction of a number of pedestrian bridges.

Derek Lawson, strategic land director at Cala Homes (East), said, “It has been a privilege to be involved from the initial design to site completion, lasting almost 20 years in duration. A scheduled monument, water course and protected species, have influenced the original site design.

“With a dedicated new primary school, and community pitch and changing facilities for the wider community plus footways linking in the heart of Haddington, there is a great deal of value that this development will bring to the wider area. We’re quickly seeing the benefits the community are gaining from Letham Mains.

“We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved in Haddington across the school and housing projects. We are always striving to improve communities as well as homes – Letham Mains is a brilliant example of that.”