The Volunteer Hall in Duns is “edging closer” to a more certain long term future through the efforts of the community group A Heart For Duns.
Chairman Andrew Lester recently stood down from his post, to be replaced by Jim Cook.
Jim said of his predecessor: “Andrew has led the effort to galvanise the people of Duns and the surrounding territories behind the campaign to return the Volunteer Hall to the centre of local community life.
“Through Andrew’s skill, hard work and commitment, significant progress has been made toward ensuring that the Volunteer Hall will endure long into the future.
“Thankfully, Andrew will remain on the AHFD Committee in the role of Vice-Chairman.”
The campaign, focussing on the hall, has achieved great momentum in the past year.
Jim went on: “Our campaign has gathered momentum and achieved much in recent months.
“The number of events held at the hall has increased by 12% over the past 12 months.
“Over the same period,” he added, the number of people attending events has increased from 4,400 to 7,000 a 59% increase!”
Four monthly food and craft markets have attracted on average almost 30 stallholders and over 240 visitors.
The showing of the film Gravity in February drew 80 people, whose responses indicated that the Film Night will become a regular feature of the events calendar.
Jim continued: “The Committee is relentless in its effort to ensure that we meet the social need of providing a sustainable facility for use by the community.
“We have engaged other stakeholders, canvassing their moral and financial support:, including Scottish Borders Council management team, Mid-Berwickshire Councillors Renton, Moffat and Greenwell, and the landlords, The Ministry of Defence. All parties are working in liaison to achieve our common aim that the Volunteer Hall endures as a fully funded and fully utilised facility for use by the community of Duns and surrounding areas.”
The group can be found online at www.aheartforduns.org. Ites next meeting is at the Black Bull Hotel on Thursday, April 7.