AN “IMPORTANT” site in the heart of Peebles is facing an uncertain future after an estimated £1.8m bill for repairs.

The School Brae Hub has been plagued by a “never-ending” list of expensive patch-ups in recent years – including rotting windows, asbestos and damp.

The former ex-servicemen’s club was bought by Peebles Community Trust (PCT) in 2019. Since then, the group has spent more than £400,000 for basic repairs and maintenance.

Last year PCT appointed surveyors to provide an estimated refurbishment cost and it was given the figure of £1.8m.

Chair Michael Ireland said: “Frankly, the building is in a very poor state of repair.

“We have spent a considerable amount of money on it already just to keep it wind and watertight and safe.

“But within the context of an ever-changing future and likely changing local needs, the existing building and its ability to be adapted to adequately service those needs is questionable and every month we seem to uncover more problems which are making the building less and less viable.

“In the circumstances, the board of directors have concluded that we should pause the current refurbishment plans and take a more strategic view, with an eye to the future, rather than simply accepting and working with what we have.”

The building, a former church and then Good Templar Hall, was acquired by the Peebles Ex-Servicemen’s Club shortly after World War One.

It still plays a vital role in the community to this day, with Peebles Peace Group and the town’s men’s shed among the organisations using it.

But the surveyors told the trust that for around £1.8m it could be demolished and a new building built.

Mr Ireland added: “We know School Brae Hub is an important site to many local people and there are fond memories of the building in its heyday, however, the reality is that it has reached the end of its natural life.

“It doesn’t even have a working heating system.

“We are faced with an option of trying to raise funds for almost never-ending repair bills or taking a more radical step and starting afresh with a building which can truly meet the needs of the community into the next century.”

Over the past six months PCT’s board of directors have reviewed options for a new site.

The group has decided to launch a consultation on the options identified, which will open following its AGM on Saturday (April 27) at 10am.

The meeting will be held in the School Brae Hub. The board of director’s appraisal report and architect designs for all options will be viewable from 11.30am and 1pm in the centre, as well as online at: