McMillan Hall finally due to be reopened on Monday

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Newton Stewart’s McMillan Hall will reopen on Monday after a nine-month closure for major repairs and renovations.

The hall at Dashwood Square will be officially reopened next week which will allow community groups to move in after being turfed out of the town’s community centre last year when it was closed as part of budget cuts.

A report to community councillors this week said badminton lines in the main hall and a final coat of paint on the front door was all that was required to finish off the renovations.

The hall was closed last April after Dumfries and Galloway Council identifed over 400 faults with the building, which was constructed in 1884 and gifted to the town.

A new lift has been put in place but there are problems with the reinstatement of a flag pole, which was deemed beyond repair. Talks are now underway to determine where a new one should be placed.

The hall was originally intended to be opened by November but contractors found dry rot in a window ledge, leading to a much more thorough renovation than planned.

Repointing with special lime putty has been carried out and the results to work onthe stone can be seen already, though some further repointing will be required in the summer months.

A broken paving slab removed to allow siting of the Christmas tree beside the war memorial will also be replaced after it vanished when the tree was removed.