AMBITIOUS plans to transform and expand the Eastgate Theatre went on display last weekend.

And more than 250 people took the opportunity to meet with the design team and offer their views.

Trustees of the arts venue secured funding last year to carry out a major consultation ahead of plans and costings being drawn up.

Ahead of further applications for financial assistance, bosses at the converted church in Peebles unveiled the plans they hope to take forward during Friday and Saturday.

Eastgate general manager Caroline Adam told the Peeblesshire News: "We’ve been absolutely delighted by the number of people who’ve taken the time to look at the outline designs for the Eastgate Development Project.

"Around 250 people have responded so far, with many of those who visited last weekend taking the opportunity to quiz the architects and members of the project group at some length about how the Eastgate will change.

"There was particular interest in a video walk round, as well as in artist’s impressions of the building, and a set of detailed floorplans."

Eastgate staff and trustees have been buoyed by the level of support and interest from theatregoers over the weekend.

And the architects behind the scheme will look at incorporating some of the suggestions made throughout the two days.

Caroline added: "There have been a lot of helpful suggestions about specific elements of the project – ranging from the benefits of a second studio to the layout of the toilets, and from the need to improve office space to the value of adding handrails in key locations.

"All this feedback will reinforce the case we’re putting forward to major funders, and will also help shape the next stages of design work.”

The Big Lottery Fund’s Community Assets programme funded last year's preparation work and consultation.

Following last weekend's open weekend finalised plans will be drawn up before further applications are made to meet the building costs.

It is expected the total cost of improving and expanding the venue will come to around £1.5 million.

And a local fundraising drive hopes to raise around £50,000 of the cash required, which includes a ceilidh at the Tontine Hotel this month, a celebration of the music of Simon and Garfunkel in February, and a tasting of craft gin, in partnership with Villeneuve Wines, in March.