Chirnside Community Centre committee has been awarded a £250,000 Big Lottery Fund grant towards their £395,000 renovation plans.
The grant helps them secure the £1 a year lease agreed with Scottish Borders Council, who own the building, and means the committee can now start to put their ambitious plans into practice.
“Funding will enable us to significantly improve the majority of the centre failings such as heating, acoustics, toilet and kitchen facilities as well as new flooring and decor,” said a committee spokesperson.
“By increasing the usable capacity (virtually doubling the capacity), we will be able to support functions and events ranging from small gatherings to wedding receptions, cinema, theatre and music festivals, including office and training spaces for hire. All of these activities will generate new income for the Community Centre to help secure its future sustainability.”
Chirnside was one of five Borders communities to share £898,542 from the latest round of Big Lottery Fund grants for Community Spaces Scotland.
And in Berwickshire there have also been celebrations in Cockburnspath, where their village hall committee was given £67,943 to upgrade facilities to increase community use. A new stage, equipment to show films and the installation of solar panels will all help to make the building self-sustaining and more environmentally friendly.
Pauline Evans, chair of Cockburnspath Village Hall Committee, said: “We are delighted that we have been awarded this grant from Big Lottery Fund Scotland’s Community Spaces programme.
“It will enable us to purchase new demountable staging and framing for the hall to enhance the productions and events, and allow us to revive the amateur dramatic society.
“We will also be able to purchase the necessary sound and projection equipment to start up our cinema club, bringing more entertainment to a wider audience.
“We really do appreciate this funding.”