Last week saw the ribbon cutting at the opening of the new club annexe to Birgham’s historic Village Hall.
Residents were invited to attend an open day, with an afternoon tea, to show what the hall has to offer and encourage more people to join existing clubs and societies.
It is also hoped that the annexe sparks ideas for other social uses for the hall. The recent refurbishment programme has made much needed improvements to the existing hall (a Victorian school built in the 1860s), but the major work has been the construction of a modern 30 square metre annexe designed to be used for club and society meetings. Funding for these improvements has been raised through social events, the Village Lottery, and £20,000 of grants obtained from Awards for All (Scotland), the Robertson Trust, and SBC’s Community Grant scheme.
Alan Livingstone, the Birgham Community Development Trust’s chairman, welcomed residents to the open morning and said: “After considerable hard work since the Trust took over the hall from Scottish Borders Council in 2009, it has at last been possible to carry out improvements to the village hall which will see it through the coming years as the centre of our community.
“This has been possible through the financial contribution and voluntary work of local residents, and contributions from the various grant providers.”
The annexe was formally opened by Alec Leid of Treaty Park, the oldest Birgham resident, who moved to the village back in the 1950s.
Vice chair of BCDT, Val Evans, called on anyone with an interest in running a club to get in touch via their website, at www.onlineborders.org.uk/community/bvcom.
“We have a wine club, a film club twice a month, a local history group that’s just getting off the ground and a garden club,” she said, “and the more the merrier, really.
“We’re looking to get blinds and pictures up in there now, to decorate and so on.
“We’re unlikely to be building any more annexes but we are trying to get funding for a disabled toilet, to go along with a ramp being built at the back entrance.”