Fears that the proposed £10 million redevelopment of Musselburgh Old Course will prohibit locals having open access to the links have been quashed by the development company behind the ambitious plans to breathe fresh life into the former six-time Open Championship venue.
Blue Thistle Ltd is pushing ahead with its plans to spearhead a significant boost to the East Lothian ‘golf tourism’ economy and recapture the long-lost ‘heritage’ of Musselburgh Links. However, concerns have been voiced about the right to maintain local access to this ‘common good’ land, amidst fears that the investment would see the land being sold off as a purely commercial development.
“This was never the case with our plans”, says Robin McGregor, Director of Blue Thistle. From the outset, we said that maintaining all aspects of upholding the traditions and legacies of Common Good Land was paramount and nothing has changed in that. The rights of access for all will remain paramount. Freedom for everyone to walk common good land derives from the establishment of Scotland’s Royal Burghs in the 11th century and is rightly regarded as being for the benefit of the community. This is similar to The Old Course at St Andrews which is common good land, bequeathed by the kirk in 1552.”
Our proposals to redevelop Musselburgh Old Course is to regenerate, restore and recreate the Course to the style and reputation of its former glory and when this is marketed effectively to golf enthusiasts and historians around the world, we anticipate a huge surge of interest in Musselburgh’s place in the annals of the game, which will be a massive fillip for the local tourism economy.”
Robin McGregor is former club secretary of the Musselburgh Links Course and outlined proposals earlier this year, which would see £10 million spent over the next seven years to completely restore the course to its 19th Century ‘Open Championship’ condition and refurbish the accompanying facilities, with a plan to create 40 new jobs in the process.
Mr McGregor confirmed that discussions were continuing with East Lothian Council who are custodians of the course and he has spoken with several Scottish and UK Government politicians to outline the scope of the project.

“I can reassure local users they will still enjoy access to the course on terms similar to those they currently enjoy. Blue Thistle has always recognised Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club’s role in ensuring golf continues to be played at the course and rightly, want to see their presence in their current clubhouse maintained. We will ensure all existing privileges are confirmed in writing to give The Club the reassurance it seeks,” he added.

Blue Thistle is currently working with a range of partners on the project including world renowned Golf Architects MacKenzie and Ebert; Jay Dobson, Agronomist NDTS, and branding experts H&A Design.