AHEAD of a major expansion at the Eastgate Theatre, the arts venue has recorded a profit for the previous year.

At the theatre's recent AGM it was reported that a profit of £5,000 had been recorded for last year.

And that attendances were up by 14 per cent on the previous 12 months.

The meeting was also told that plans for a £1.5 million expansion and upgrade are on course.

With growing demand for the theatre’s events and services, along with the continued growth of the population of Peebles, Eastgate chiefs applied to the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Assets programme earlier this year to improve and expand facilities.

The application was successful and an initial grant of £45,000 was rubber-stamped in spring this year to fund the first phase of design work, costings, and a programme of community consultation.

Sir David Younger, chair of the Eastgate, spoke of his joy at the progress being made.

He said: “I am delighted to report that for another year the Eastgate Theatre has continued to increase the number and variety of opportunities it offers for all sorts of people, in Tweeddale and beyond, to experience arts of the highest quality.

“The theatre continues to use its LiveBorders grant and revenue grants from other funders to support its operation, but this capital redevelopment proposal is on a different scale.

"If successful, it will bring approximately £1.5 million into the area to create an arts and community asset fit to meet the needs and demands of the growing population of Peebles and surrounding areas, both now and in the future.

“We owe so much to the likes of Caroline Adam and so many others for their enormous enthusiasm and hard work which has contributed so much to the year’s success."

During 2016/17 the Eastgate staged more than 250 public events, with around 12,000 people going attending live performances, 6,000 viewing

films, and a further 3,000 attracted by festival events.

Turnover for the Eastgate’s participation programme also increased by 13 per cent for regular classes during the 12 months.

Before the final stage of development for the planned expansion, locals have been invited to a Q&A session with the design team behind the Eastgate’s expansion – to discuss proposals and answer any questions.

The event will take place at the theatre on Wednesday, December 6, from 2pm to 8pm.