Martin Whitfield MSP has visited iconic local live music and arts venue MacArts in Galashiels to hear more about its innovative work supporting and promoting live music in the Borders.

MacArts is run by the Duncan Mackinnon Music and Arts Trust, which was formed in December 2011 to fulfil an ambition to create a state-of-the-art theatre, music and arts venue in the former St Andrew’s Arts Centre.

It hosts live music from national and international touring artists as well as providing a platform for up-and-coming local acts. It also hosts comedy, theatre and community events, while spaces at the venue can be hired for anything from parties and weddings to conferences and workshops.

Mr Whitfield met with some of the venue’s volunteers and trustees to discuss the current funding and other challenges it is facing in the wake of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.

The South Scotland MSP was then given a tour of the building, which was originally a church, before being home to the St Andrew’s Arts Centre for many years.

Martin Whitfield MSP said: 

“MacArts is a wonderful venue which provides a vital outlet for live music and other entertainment. It also supports local talent through its outreach and education work and by offering the opportunity to play in front of a live audience in a supportive environment.

“It is just the kind of community facility that should be backed by government and I will certainly be speaking up in support of MacArts and similar community venues to push for them to receive the help they need to thrive.”

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