‘Critical point’ reached in talks on village hall’s future

Greenlaw Town Hall.
Greenlaw Town Hall.

Discussions over the future of Greenlaw’s most iconic building have now reached a tipping point, according to Greenlaw Town Hall Association and the Greenlaw and Hume Community Council.

And G&HCC have announced a public meeting to discuss the matter before residents, later this month.

G&HCC’s Gerry McCann said this week: “We are now approaching a critical point in our discussions with Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT), who “own” the building as trustees for the community.

“Basically we want SHBT to grant us a free lease for the use of the whole building for a three year period, and with a contribution to running costs equal to the costs that they currently incur to keep the building in a “moth-balled” condition,” said Councillor McCann.

“Even if they were willing to do so, we then need to get financial support from SBC and others to pay employee costs and equip the building for community activities. It is a model similar to that already operating for the Heart of Duns project where MoD are the owners of the property.

“The biggest hurdles however are to get SHBT to fund the repairs that are needed to make the building usable, and to get community support for this initiative.

“If the community are not behind the effort, then frankly there is no chance of success. There is undeniably a significant degree or residual resentment about the project that led to the building being re-opened by HRH Prince of Wales in May 2011, since when it has been almost wholly unused and deteriorating. “So we are holding a public meeting on January 18, at 7pm in Fairbairn Hall.”

Over £1.8m in private and public money has been spent on the hall so far.