THEATRE bosses in Peebles are limbering up ahead of a mad-dash race to reach a fundraising finish line.

Part-funding has been secured for the first phase of major refurbishment and expansion plans for the Eastgate.

But another £70,000 needs to be found by the end of August to make sure their dreams can start becoming a reality.

The first phase of the Eastgate’s Building on Success strategy focusses on the auditorium space, where all the seating will be replaced or repositioned to enhance comfort, increase space, and improve sightlines from the balconies.

New hand grabs on the aisle seats will be fitted and extra lighting at balcony level will ensure safety, while better heating and ventilation systems will improve temperature control at all times of the year.

A European LEADER grant of £150,000 has been secured for Phase One as long as sufficient match funding can be found.

And so far, through a combination of other grants, donations and fundraising events, £130,000 has already been secured.

But with £350,000 required to complete the initial stage of redevelopment, a shortfall of £70,000 needs to be found by August 30.

Eastgate general manager Caroline Adam said: "Though we recognise that £70,000 is a lot of money to raise in a very short time, we are hugely encouraged by the interest, encouragement and support that our plans have already generated.

"We know that many people are particularly keen to see the auditorium transformed, and – now that we’re so close to our target – we hope that everyone who loves the Eastgate will help us to achieve this crucial goal by the end of August.”

To make it easy for everyone to contribute to the fundraising effort the theatre has placed a donations box in the foyer for cash, with envelopes for larger cash sums or cheques, complete the Gift Aid slip to increase donations by 25 percent, also available.

They have also set up a Just Giving page for online donations.

There are also a number of fundraising events being staged including Take to the Floor at Peebles Hydro on Sunday, August 26 and Choir-aoke with InChorus at the Eastgate Theatre on Sunday, September 1.

Caroline added: "The redevelopment of the theatre will enable the Eastgate to continue to provide Peebles and the surrounding area with a year round programme of high quality arts events and creative activities, and to act as a vibrant centre for local artists and arts organisations long into the future."

The Eastgate Theatre is already the busiest independent venue in the Scottish Borders, bringing in some 21,000 theatre-goers each year, with a further 40,000 attending classes and workshops, or using the popular Eastgate café.

For more information about the project or to discuss options, including donations, patronage, sponsorship or Gift Aid, contact Caroline Adam at, or call 01721 725777.