Plans for permanent monument for Riding of the Marches in Musselburgh

News — By on August 17, 2016 8:59 am



A permanent work of art could be sited in Musselburgh as a lasting legacy of Riding of the Marches – the burgh’s historic boundary marking ceremony.

Ward councillor Stuart Currie is calling for a reminder of the event to be put on public show for posterity following this year’s success.

He is also keen that a percentage of income from the town’s Common Good Fund be ring-fenced annually to help cover the cost of the community celebration, which takes place every 21 years.

He said: “I think the town needs a permanent memorial, statute or piece of public art with, for example, the names of all the Town Champions. People were so enthused by so many aspects of Riding of the Marches 2016. As the event happens every 21 years, a permanent celebration is needed to remind people and could be located at the Town Hall or Brunton Hall.”

A six-figure sum was provided from the Musselburgh Common Good Fund, which is administered by its trustees, the town’s six East Lothian councillors, to help finance this year’s Riding of the Marches, which is believed to have cost in the region of £300,000.

Mr Currie mooted the idea of ring-fencing a percentage of its income each year in preparation for the next Riding of the Marches in 2037.

He plans to raise the idea at the next meeting of the Common Good Fund trustees.

The fund draws hundreds of thousands pounds’ worth of income from renting out land and property, including Musselburgh Racecourse, the Brunton Hall and shops it owns in the town. Its cash-accumulated funds are more than £4 million, with an annual income of more than £400,000 and annual surplus of about £200,000. About £200,000 a year is given out annually in grants for local causes.

Mr Currie said: “I think there is now a responsibility on local councillors to put in place the building blocks for the future and deliver a lasting legacy to ensure the next Riding of the Riding is as much success as this one.

“We have to put in place a funding mechanism for the Common Good to provide a fund over the next 21 years to make sure it happens. It’s Musselburgh’s money after all. If two per cent of the income a year is given over 21 years, this would result in another six-figure sum. This would be a tremendous legacy from the Common Good for the town.”

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