Volunteer Hall future at Heart of discussions

LOCAL groups gathered in Duns last week to sound out what people want from the town’s Volunteer Hall in the years to come.

Representatives from Duns Pipe Band, Berwickshire Housing Association, the Scottish Country Dance Group, the Accordion Club, Southfield Centre, Duns Players, Duns and District Operatic Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Rotary Club of Duns and Duns Community Council all gathered for the discussions hosted by A Heart for Duns, a recently established group whose aim is to make the building a facility for the whole community to use and enjoy.

Group chair Andrew Lester explained that an upgraded Volunteer Hall could be an ideal venue for many groups, but at this stage it is paramount to know what Duns people really want. Ultimately A Heart for Duns wants to see everyone catered for in a venue, or venues, entirely suitable for their activities.

The Southfield Centre and the Volunteer Hall are currently financially supported to a large degree by the council. The future, however, is uncertain and Andrew suggested it might be prudent to plan for the future even if it is not yet certain what it may bring.

If the Volunteer Hall is to survive it will require the backing of the whole community so that it can be turned into a facility which will serve the people of Duns for years to come.

A Heart for Duns is still on track to submit a stage 1 application to the Community Spaces fund in December.

They are also in discussion with the Ministry of Defence and Scottish Borders Council regarding the lease.

But they really want to hear from other groups and from members of the public about what they would like to see in the Volunteer Hall and also about how they feel about the initiative generally.

There are boxes for comments in Duns Post Office, Romanes the Chemist and in the Youth Centre. It is also possible to air your views on the website: www.aheartforduns.org.