History of the Eastgate

Back in 1991, representatives of local arts groups highlighted the need for a centre for the arts in Tweeddale. The “Under One Roof” group was set up to raise funds after a local authority review had identified that a gap existed for a mid-scale performing arts venue, which could also act as a regional facility and a community hub for arts participation, performance and film. After several years of fundraising and feasibility studies, Borders 1996 Company Limited was formed, and acquired the Eastgate Hall in Peebles. The building had started life in 1871 as a church and continued in regular use as a community hall, but was marked for closure until offered a new lease of life as a new centre for the arts in the Borders.

The £2.79million of funding needed to do this was eventually raised with grants from the Scottish Arts Council Capital Committee, the ERDF, Scottish Borders Enterprise, Scottish Borders Council and funds raised by local people and organisations. Multi award-winning Edinburgh-based architect Richard Murphy was commissioned in 1998 and six months of building work commenced in October 2002. The long awaited Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre finally opened its door to the public on March 4th 2004.