It is the dawning of a new era as the historic Peebles Ex-serviceman’s Club, saved from closure after hitting financial trouble, received its new name this week - The School Brae Community Hub.

A rescue mission was launched earlier this year by Peebles Community Trust to buy the building which will now serve the needs of the community.

It is used as a headquarters by the Trust, Peebles Pipe Band and Peebles Men’s Shed.

Members of Peebles Community Trust unanimously voted in favour of the new name to reflect both its location and it being “at the heart of the community”.

The decision was made by the PCT at their annual general meeting on Tuesday, where Chairman Lawrie Hayworth welcomed over 120 members to the recently acquired venue.

Members are now being encouraged to come forward with ideas as to how the community hub can be developed.

The Trust has made great progress in the past year and has obtained funds which have enabled the employment of a Coordinator, Alex Wilson, to help with the development of the Trust’s objectives.

Members were asked to ratify a change in the articles of association which are required by the Scottish Government before it can consider the PCT proposal for a community right to buy March Street Mill.

Funding has been obtained to allow for the development of plans for the site, and the Trust would like to keep the whole of the site for community use by retaining the allotments and then developing the remaining land to provide sheltered accommodation, affordable housing and units for employment purposes.

The PCT acts as an umbrella organisation for other groups in the town and provides assistance to them by helping to identify sources of funds.

John Williams from the Eshiels Community Wood Group explained how his group under the auspices of the PCT was able to purchase the wood for the benefit of the community and explained that the wood is of important ecological interest. It is the only place in Scotland where the currant shoot borer moth can be found.

Robert Bruce then followed to explain a little of the importance that railways played in the development of Peebles and the progress being made to procure the old railway weigh bridge building which stands in the Eastgate car park. This is the only surviving railway building in

Peebles which the PCT wants to preserve as a direct link to the town's railway heritage.

Finally, Andrew Thin and Lorne Mcleod from the Scottish Land Commission gave a brief description of their role and how the Commission seeks to reform by expanding the community ownership of land.

There was emphasis on the need for projects to be sustainable, that they must be carefully assessed in order that any community acquisition of land can survive in the long term.