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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Lucy Jackson

Campaign launched to secure future of historic Scots building

A SCOTTISH arts and cultural venue is appealing for donations to secure its future.

Dunoon Burgh Hall, situated on the Cowal Peninsula in the south of Argyll and Bute, launched the fundraising campaign as it celebrates 150 years of the historic building.

The fundraiser seeks to raise enough money to enable the building to stay open for another 150 years.

Young people from Dunoon Grammar School will mark the building’s anniversary by burying a time capsule to be opened in 50 years’ time, filled with items which explore what it is like to be young in 2023.

The hall (pictured below) was first opened in 1874 but had fallen into a state of disrepair by the end of the 20th century.

During the Second World War, the building was used as a canteen and entertainment space, as well as an administration office which oversaw the safety of more than 1000 child evacuees.

It was then bought by architect John McAslan in 2008 for just £1, who returned it to the community.

The hall reopened in 2017 after being refurbished, and now hosts many cultural events such as gigs, theatre, and exhibitions featuring artworks by artists including Andy Warhol, Edgar Degas and Joan Eardley.

Holly McAllister, operations manager of Dunoon Burgh Hall, said she is hopeful about the campaign, emphasising the importance of improving accessibility to arts and culture.

She said: “Given that Cowal is a rural area with high deprivation, our mission is to make the arts accessible to all.

“As a charity, the hall is reliant on donations and has no core funding to support high overheads and maintenance costs.

“The money raised will support a number of projects, including helping the Hall to be greener and more sustainable by improving the fabric of the building.

“This will reduce energy costs, ultimately helping the building to keep going for many more years to come.

"We’re hopeful that our crowdfunder will attract attention and international support from ex-pats and people with links to the community.”

In addition to the fundraising campaign, a number of events and fundraisers have also been planned to raise money. Find more information here.

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