Eastgate seeking new sponsor

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THE Eastgate Theatre in Peebles has launched a hunt for a new sponsor. after housebuilder Cala Homes decided to sever its three-year partnership with the venue which draws annual audiences of 18,000.

“We are tremendously grateful to Cala for its support in the past and are disappointed to lose what has been a valuable partnership,” said James Taylor, chairman of the Eastgate’s board of directors..

“In a bid to interest new sponsors, we will be targeting local and national businesses. We will also be developing existing partnerships and forging new ones, hopefully, with companies, public services and voluntary groups.

“We continue to rely on public grants and local sponsorship for a third of our income and we are absolutely certain that funding in the voluntary, charitable and arts sectors – and we figure in all three – will be much tighter for the foreseeable future.

“The theatre also depends on the important contribution made by its band of volunteers and the Friends of the Eastgate. Within our current pool of over 40 volunteers, we still have 28 who were there at the very beginning almost seven years ago.”

The Eastgate receives an annual subsidy of £90,000 from Scottish Borders Council and, although that funding is secured for the coming year, future largesse is, as Mr Taylor, infers, uncertain amid the public spending cuts.

A spokesperson for Cala Homes said: “Despite difficult market conditions, we have maintained sponsorship while continuing to build and sell houses in Peebles.

“But our development at Forest Park in the town is almost complete... so too is our ability to continue sponsorship.”