Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre

A multi-purpose entertainment venue occupying the former Free Church on Eastgate, Peebles, the Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre is noted for its performances of music, drama, film, dance and comedy, together with a community arts programme.

Opened by HRH The Princess Royal in April 2004, the centre comprises a 250-seat auditorium on the first floor, with a rehearsal room that doubles as an exhibition space, a green room, dressing rooms, offices and a cafe-bar on the ground floor.

The church was built in 1871-2 in snecked rubble masonry and has been B-listed since 1995. It served for a time as a community centre before its conversion in 2002-04 by Edinburgh-based Richard Murphy Architects. The Gothic facade remains unchanged, with a stumpy square tower to the west, and a higher tower surmounted by a tall spire to the east. The entrance is now on the eastern side of the building, through a facade of steel, glass and wood, with an overhanging glass canopy. This is deliberately intended to contrast sharply with the original structure, indicating the two eras of construction. The conversion cost £2 million and was commended amongst the Scottish Enterprise Dynamic Place Awards of 2005.

The theatre is operated by a charitable company and relies on an enthusiastic group of volunteers to assist the full-time staff.

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