A TREASURED music school in Peebles has been saved after a cash crisis was averted.

Nomad Beat, at 10-11 Cherry Court, Cavalry Park, faced difficulties obtaining funding on the run-up to the end of 2023.

But thanks to generous donations, expert advice and a grant, the future of the school has been secured. 

Board of trustees chair Doreen Graham thanked everyone who gave their time and support to Nomad Beat, during what had been a really worrying time.

“Near the end of every year, we lose a number of pupils as they leave school to go to college or university and this, coupled with increased competition in obtaining grant funding, created the financial crisis we desperately needed to resolve,” said Ms Graham.

“We launched our first ‘GoFundMe’ appeal in December and the overwhelmingly generous support from the public, a Peebles businessman, a grant awarded by the Peebles Common Good Fund and a considerable number of people signing up for lessons has ensured that Nomad Beat has survived the immediate financial crisis.”

Nomad Beat opened its doors back in October 2009.

It was the brainchild of founder Alison Cameron and built on her vision that the skills of musicianship should be affordable, accessible, and available to all, regardless of age, ability, background or circumstances. 

Fifteen years on the school has grown into a rich and vibrant community resource, operating as a small venue, rehearsal space, equipment hire and networking centre for a plethora of local musicians and performers.

It also offers dementia-inclusive singing groups and a class for adults experiencing low-mood and depression.

The trustees sought advice from South of Scotland Enterprise and Nomad Beat has implemented their recommendations.

The school has just launched a new website, developed by one of the charity’s trustees, and a new business plan.

School manager Roddy Macfarlane said: “We are now offering spaces for hire with Ruth Allan being the first to roll out her ‘Speak Out French’ course every Tuesday morning and chair yoga will also be coming soon.”

The school has a large studio available and several smaller rooms, ideal for one-to-one tuition or somewhere private to catch up on office work.

Charges range from £5 to £15 per hour and include WiFi access and use of the facilities.

Mr Macfarlane added: “Nomad Beat is so much more than a music school.

“We also run a range of therapeutic musical outreach projects across Tweeddale, including two dementia-inclusive singing groups and a group for adults experiencing low-mood and depression.

“This work harnesses the benefits of group music-making to promote feelings of inclusion, self-belief, relaxation and creativity while reducing feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety.

“These therapeutic groups, which are partially grant funded, are free to participants as well as members of their family, friends and carers of those attending.”