THE trustees of the Buccleuch Centre in Langholm have applied for funding from Creative Scotland to help keep the venue running.
If the application is successful, the popular arts and entertainment venue will be able to survive until next March.
Gavin Graham, who chairs the board, spoke to the E&L Advertiser from his own personal perspective and not for the trustees or staff.
He said: “We have just completed the application to Creative Scotland for funding and it will enable us, if successful, to survive to March 2021 and, hopefully, longer.
“We hope to produce Buccleuch Live performances between now and March.
“We already have promises from many of the artistes who have regularly visited the centre and they will provide short clips which we will show on various platforms.”
Looking to the long term, he added: “I think we won’t be able to function properly until there is a vaccine and that could be another year away.
“The centre has had to look at different ways of reaching its customers and, hopefully, will survive this difficult time. Maybe we will be even stronger as a result of it.”
Gavin hopes they will know about the application in about a month.
He added: “I’m not jumping my guns because there will likely be many people chasing too little money. I will say that, if it’s effort, which measures success, we deserve it because of the number of hours’ work and sleepless nights.
“As usual, David Stevenson has been a great help, along with Alan Weatherstone, Neil Gass and Peter Renwick.
“The centre is vital to Langholm’s economy and, if we don’t succeed in this application, I fear for the future.”
On the issue of social distancing, he said: “Personally, I believe two metres is the correct distance and I worry that this winter we will get another peak of the virus.
“From an audience point of view, if reduced to one metre, it will still cause problems, although may increase the audience by a few more.
“When we see what happens in bars and they have to close again, I do think it will cause problems.
Colin Smyth, South Scotland MSP, is urging the Scottish government to review the two-metre social distancing guidance for small cinemas and theatres.
Several small venues have asked him why the rule for pubs, bars and restaurants is one metre, while cinemas and theatres have to enforce two.
Smaller venues will suffer from the tiny numbers they are allowed to cater for and, unless the guidance is reviewed, many will not continue to operate.
“Unless the government works fast, some venues simply won’t open until next year, if at all. That means more job losses.”