It’s still winter down by the sea!


Although we received Planning Permission for our facilities upgrade some months ago, the second part that we require – Building Warrant approval – is still with City of Edinburgh Council’s Planning Department.

Until this gets approved, we cannot proceed with any actual work other than planning and preparation. Despite the lockdown, we have successfully cleared a number of areas in the building which would be necessary to enable the work to go ahead once the approvals are given.

In parallel with this, the architect’s team have been working hard to find suitable contractors to carry out the work. This has proved to be a bit more difficult than it sometimes is – possibly a side-effect of the pandemic, possibly due to many building companies being exceedingly busy; work remains ongoing on this side of things to find the right contractor to do the job, once all the permissions are in place.

We’ll keep you updated over the coming months on our progress!


We continue with the work that was underway during 2020 despite the lockdown restrictions, to help us find more people who can help us with the running and operations of Longcraig. As spring approaches, this activity continues with more vigour, as we anticipate the return to a level of normality at some time in the future.

So, we urge everyone to share this message around – your leader teams; your parents of the young people; friends and family; folks you work with. We would like to find some more people to help out with some or all of the following roles:

  • People with water activity skills who have or could be assessed for a water activity permit;
  • People who have a little bit of knowledge of water activities or would like to develop these skills, that we could provide some training to help them gain a qualification for a permit;
  • People who have the skills or sufficient interest to help out with some of the admin and background activities that are necessary to run an efficient and active activity centre. These could be building or ground maintenance skills; boat or trailer maintenance skills; IT skills; finance, publicity, marketing or documentation skills – or simply just a desire to learn a bit more about these things – we can help you expand your knowledge.
  • People who will be able to support the additional needs that will likely come out of the coronavirus pandemic – such as disinfecting equipment, property, and such like; arranging suitable signage; helping manage visitors to the Centre whether these are young people doing activity stuff, or parents coming along to watch/collect/etc – as well as possibly keeping the general public at a safe distance – these are potential all new things we have not had to focus on before.


Despite the current lockdown restrictions, there has been a raft of work going on in the background to implement the plans for the new Longcraig Explorer Sea Scout Unit which is going to be based at Longcraig Scout Centre.

The core Leader Team, led by Steve Hankin, has progressed through the appointments processes and meets up regularly (online!) to develop the ideas, plans and mechanisms to make the Unit ready to operate once face-to-face Scouting resumes. There are a range of activities that Explorers from across the Region can take part in and any adults interested in getting involved with the new Unit’s activities, as a Skills Instructor, Assistant Leader or Supporter would be very welcome. 

The Unit has already started to welcome Explorers who are keen to develop new or existing water sports skills and achieve one of the many opportunities available.

Want to know more? Visit the Unit’s website at

RE-OPENING in 2021

As you will all be aware, we are still very much in Lockdown as you read this, and although there are a number of theories about when Scouting will be able to return to some normality, we at Longcraig have exactly the same questions and uncertainties!

Last year, we opened our Bookings Diary early in the year, and ended up having to cancel or postpone all of last year’s bookings due to the restrictions preventing us form offering any water activities. It’s not any more certain just now either, although there are many more signs that things will get better as the year progresses between lockdown helping to quell the spread of the virus; the various vaccines helping to prevent people from catching it or at least making sure if they do catch it, the effects are much reduced.

So, for now, we are not going to open the Bookings Diary, rather we will wait a little until it is clearer WHEN we can re-commence activities, and WHAT activities we will be able to provide. So, for example, there may be some restrictions initially on numbers of participants, or there may be restrictions on how many days a week we can operate; or we may have to modify the range of activities that we can provide. Hopefully all in the short term but we’ll have to wait and see!

We will continue to update everyone through this regular newsletter and on our Longcraig website as soon as it becomes clearer what we are permitted to do – this is what we hope to see again one day soon!

Ian Harrower
Longcraig Active Support Unit