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Dunoon Burgh Hall

Dunoon, Argyll & Bute, Scotland

Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust

Category B

Creative arts hub in historic town hall

Opened in 1874 to celebrate the conferring of Burgh status on the town, Dunoon Burgh Hall was built to provide the local community with a public hall, municipal offices, and the first theatre in Argyll. Over the last 150 years this Category B-listed Scottish Baronial landmark has hosted public dances, council meetings and many other local events. 

By the early 2000s, however, the Hall was at risk of being demolished, and the community came together to rescue it and take ownership. The first phase of works were urgent repairs that allowed the building to reopen for community use, while following phases gradually brought vacant spaces back into action to create a multi-functional arts hub. The Hall now provides space for live performances, community events, workshops and artists’ talks, with an exhibition gallery and popular café. The venue is attracting touring companies and offers an annual programme of events, including dance and drama opportunities from professional theatre companies, as well as a learning programme for children and young people.

The AHF has supported transformation of Dunoon Burgh Hall since 2010, initially through an Historic Environment Scotland (HES)-supported Project Development Grant. This was later followed by loan investment, which provided working capital, along with additional funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Creative Scotland and HES, towards the £3.5m refurbishment – which together delivered enhanced facilities, such as an improved café/bar and new office accommodation. More recently, Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust have also been receiving help from Replan, the AHF’s post-investment capacity-building programme, towards business planning and outreach. In 2022, the AHF also supported the project through its William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund to help towards the costs of some emergency repairs and remedial capital works.

Through the restoration of the building, Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust has created a thriving community arts hub. Over the last few years, the Trust has delivered a varied and diverse programme of activities and events, as restrictions allowed, and has consequently been able to repay its AHF loan investment. These funds can now be recycled to support more Scottish projects in achieving the same fantastic community-led regeneration and success as the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust.

AHF Funding

Project Development Grant - £23,000 (2010)

Endowment Fund Loan - £175,000 (2014)

WGF Tailored Support Fund Grant - £23,000 (2022)

Photo credits
Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust

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