THIS year the Creative Peebles Festival committee has awarded the Robert Noble Trophy to Kids Innerleithen Youth Theatre – an organisation set up just 18 months ago to teach and encourage young people from across the district in music, drama, dance and stage craft.

Although the group was only recently formed, it has become the junior section of Innerleithen & District Amateur Operatic Society, which has entertained the public since 1908.

The Robert Noble trophy was first given to the Peebles Arts Festival in 1985 by the Robert Noble company of March Street Mills in Peebles.

It was to be awarded annually to an individual or organisation who has notably and successfully encouraged young people in Tweeddale to engage with and participate in the arts.

Kids Innerleithen Youth Theatre joins a long and illustrious list of winners that includes Dan Ward and Alison Cameron, Peebles Accordion and Fiddle Club and Innerleithen & District Amateur Operatic Society.

Kids Innerleithen Youth Theatre (KIYT) meets weekly for children between eight and 15.

Parent Alexina Hamilton said: "My daughter recently turned eight and has become a member and absolutely loves it.

“She is amazed by the talents of some of the older kids and as a newer member aspires to be like them – a testament to the skills and confidence that the group has helped these kids to gain.”

Fellow parent Leena Crichton added: “The leaders are inspirational and very supportive.

“Together with the children they have created a magical atmosphere.”

The trophy was awarded to Nicola Watt, president of Innerleithen & District Amateur Operatic Society, by Caroline Adam from Creative Peebles Festival.

Caroline said: “I’m delighted to present this trophy to a new organisation which shows that the wealth of artistic performance and activities in Tweeddale continues to grow.

“The reasons different people gave for nominating KIYT were a perfect fit with the aims for the award stated so clearly by the Robert Noble Company more than 30 years ago."