A Heart for Duns, the charity which manages the town’s Volunteer Hall on behalf of the community, became the new owner of the venue on 12 April 2018. It had leased the building since May 2016 and last September was awarded a grant of £206,000 from the Scottish Land Fund to support the purchase.
Derek Janes, Convenor of A Heart for Duns, said: “We are grateful to the Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for offering to sell us the Volunteer Hall, and to the Scottish Land Fund for providing the necessary funding. The Hall has had a long association with the British Army, particularly the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. But it has a parallel tradition as a hub for the local community and, with the support of our many volunteers and members, we are privileged to build on this legacy. Bringing the Volunteer Hall into community ownership should enable AHFD to secure enough investment to transform it into a vital multipurpose hub that will benefit all residents of Duns and district.”
AHFD already has separate funding in place to convert the former caretaker’s flat into offices for non-profit groups, and to install an energy efficient heating and ventilation system for the main hall; work should be completed by the end of the summer. Further plans include a proper foyer and bar, another small hall, a better kitchen, and improved dressing rooms and storage.
To celebrate the purchase, two events for charity are planned at the Volunteer Hall for the weekend of 28 and 29 April. AHFD is joining with Duns Rotary Club to sponsor a concert by the Spatz & Co Showband on Saturday 28 April, at 7.30pm. Then Duns Film Club will host the Scottish première of Through Our Eyes on Sunday 29 April, at 4pm. This documentary about Syrian refugees is by award-winning filmmaker Samir Mehanović, who will attend the event. Entry is free; donations can be made to a charity for refugees.
See also Origin and ownership of the Hall