Duns community theatre bids for lottery funding

Duns Players stage their annual Rembembrance weekend play, this year raising money for the Royal British Leigon with a 1940s theme night and an episode of Dads Army
Duns Players stage their annual Rembembrance weekend play, this year raising money for the Royal British Leigon with a 1940s theme night and an episode of Dads Army

A bid from Duns has been shortlisted for the People’s Millions competition, which could secure funding to turn the Volunteer Hall into a vibrant community theatre for Berwickshire.

The effort is being led by A Heart for Duns, with support from Duns and District Amateur Operatic Society and Duns Players.

The People’s Millions is a partnership between Big Lottery Fund and ITV, where the public help decide which local community projects get up to £50,000 of National Lottery funding. For ITV Border viewers, the Duns project will be screened during the Border News on Wednesday, November 26. Viewers will be asked to vote for their preferred bid, in this case either Duns Community Theatre or a musical project in Peebles.

The Duns bid is for £43,000 to equip a professional quality space for theatrical performances.

Peter Lerpiniere of Duns Players said: “The Volunteer Hall facilities are fairly basic, so we are aiming for a new lighting rig, a [projection and] sound system and blackout curtains. These upgrades would also bring benefits for concerts, film nights and other events at the Hall.”

For the Duns bid to succeed, it will need full support from the town and surrounding area.

Emma Taylor from Duns Operatic Society added: “A first class community theatre in the centre of Berwickshire would attract people from far afield, whether simply attending a show or pursuing a career in the performing arts. We hope that everyone in the county will support our bid.”

Derek Janes, convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “We are very excited to get through to this stage. Having up-to-date equipment will allow us to run a full programme of activities at the hall, which will in turn allow it to become fully sustainable. Please galvanise your friends, relations and colleagues, in person and through social media, to vote for Duns Community Theatre.

On November 26, People’s Millions will release telephone numbers for voting and the lines will be open from 9am until midnight. Each phone or mobile can be used for up to 10 votes and each call or text will be charged at no more than 15p. For updates see www.aheartforduns.org