A bigger, brighter, better Eastgate reopens its doors

Finishing touches: the revamped Eastgate Theatre cafe opens its doors to the public this week.
Finishing touches: the revamped Eastgate Theatre cafe opens its doors to the public this week.

It’s been a little over 60 days since Peebles’ Eastgate Theatre closed for renovations, but patrons will be able to enter a brighter, better and slightly bigger building as it reopens this week.

Audiences and café customers are set to reap the benefit of all the changes made over the summer.  

For the last two months, theatre staff have operated from a pop-up space at the former Tourist Information Centre on Peebles High Street, but this week they return to a much-changed workplace.

The downstairs café area reopens this week, while the new-look auditorium will reopen with a very special concert on September 8.

Visitors will instantly notice changes that have been made in the downstairs café area.

The café features a new snug area with comfy high chairs that appeal to older people in particular, along with additional table space.

The whole area is enhanced by additional sunlight, thanks to a new glass wall running almost the whole length of the café.

A new front entrance with automatic doors makes it much easier to get in and out of the building, particularly when pushing a buggy or a wheelchair.

The café itself will soon feature a refreshed menu, with a greater emphasis on healthy, homemade food and exciting specials.

Very much a phased reopening, work continues upstairs on refurbishment of the auditorium, with better sightlines from both stalls and balconies.

A new bank of comfortable raked seating offers more leg room, and there are hand grabs all the way up the aisle, along with additional step-level lighting, which will make the steps easier to navigate.

The auditorium will be officially opened on September 8, when the legendary Fitzwilliam String Quartet plays the opening concert of the new season from Music in Peebles.

“It’s been a long road getting to this point, but we are delighted to welcome the public back into a building that has been well and truly reinvigorated,” commented Caroline Adam, the Eastgate’s general manager.

“The renovation of the Eastgate Theatre has been made possible thanks to grant funding from the SBC LEADER Programme, FCC Environment, Foyle Foundation, BCCF Environmental, Land Trust, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, Doris Field Charitable Trust, Peebles Common Good Fund and contributions from a host of fundraisers and individual donors.”

○ Read more about the Fitzwilliam Quartet, who are also set to play for music lovers in Melrose, on page 43.