The future of a thriving community hub in Duns has been secured thanks to a £206,000 grant from the Scottish Land Fund.
A Heart for Duns manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community and has leased the building since 2014. Now, thanks to the Scottish Land Fund grant, the group will be able to purchase the building, which will empower local people to be involved in its future development.
Since taking over the lease of the hall three years ago, Heart for Duns has taken the venue from strength to strength, increasing the number of community groups using it for a variety of activities ranging from plays, musical theatre and dance through to community celebrations, sports and fitness, and a monthly cinema club.
Welcoming the news, Derek Janes, convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “The trustees are very excited by the investment from the Scottish Land Fund into the community of Duns and district. We are delighted at the level of support we have received from community groups, strategic partners and funders, and we look forward to the next stages of development that will follow once we own the venue.
“Working with the community, we plan to transform the hall, making it even more fit for purpose, energy efficient, equipped with digital technologies, and with more flexible performance and work spaces. There’s a lot of work ahead but this grant gives us a solid base on which to build.”
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “I am delighted to see another enterprising community take control of its own future with Scottish Land Fund assistance. When considering this project for funding, the committee was very impressed with the community consultation that has brought Heart of Duns to this point. It is clear that there is a great desire to continue developing and enhancing the hall’s facilities.”