GREENLAW’s restored town hall was officially re-opened by Prince Charles in May 2011, but since then it has had limited use, only one office occupied and the hall used just a handful of times.
Landlords Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, who led the £1.9 million restoration of the 19th century John Cunningham designed building, have stepped up their marketing campaign for the hall. However, they are up against it - they say that the village’s broadband speed is a major drawback for potential businesses to occupy the east and west wing offices, and the lack of kitchen and public toilets for the main hall is restricting its use for functions.
“When the community asked Scottish Historic Buildings Trust to come and save the building we envisaged not being able to save the hall although we would do something with the walls,” explained Elizabeth Mackay, SHBT property manager.
“As it turned out we got enough grant funding to make the hall wind and water tight but there wasn’t enough money to put in toilet and kitchen facilities but we do have planning permission for that.
“We have been talking with the community of Greenlaw and were hoping they would come and run the hall on behalf of SBHT and raise funds to get toilet facilities put in.
“They weren’t keen about where we were going to put them (kitchen and public toilets) but that was the only place planning would allow it at the time.
“We can open the east pavilion which has toilets and a kitchen and the council has given us a key for the public toilets across the road from the hall.”
Explaining that marketing the building is essential because of the high costs involved in running it Elizabeth added: “As a non-profit making charitable body, all the revenue from the let of offices and the hire of the hall is used to sustain the hall for the future of the community of Greenlaw and indeed surrounding communities.”
Before its restoration Greenlaw Town Hall had been on the Buildings at Risk register since 2001 - and there is local concern that it could end up back on the register through lack of use.