Leith Theatre Plans Downsized

Posted by to The Blog on July 14th

Cockburn Conservation Trust – the building preservation group who reprent council / residents’ plan for the revitalisation of the Leith Theatre Trust have failed to make it through to the second stage of the Arts Funding Prize for Edinburgh reports The Stage today.
It would appear that the £8 million design for the Grade B-listed venue will now have to be scaled down. Catharine Kidd, CCT project officer, said the organisations would now be looking to develop a project costing £5 million, or for a way to create a phased scheme, which would see parts of the building opened, and paid for, in stages.
She went on to explain that the trust is currently undertaking an Options Appraisal study to evaluate alternative plans for the building, which would be completed by December 2009. The organisations involved will then embark on a two-year funding drive and aim to have the redevelopment completed by 2014.

The public support has been incredible. We’ve got a lot of political support as well – from MSPs and the local council. There is quite a strong artistic community within that area and everybody wants to see this building being reused, and having a venue they can perform and develop their own artistic programme in.

– Catharine Kidd, CCT project officer
Philip Neaves, chair of LTT, said the residents’ group was considering a number of options for the artistic future of the venue, including partnerships with the Scottish Stage and Screen Network and the city’s ethnic communities.
“The plan is four-fold – it is theatre, it is arts in the wider sense, it is educational, it is for the community. We want to create opportunities to access all of those things and for the building to have a continued viable use as a theatre.” Neaves’ continued: The new plan for the venue’s 1,500-seat auditorium would be reduced to 700-seats and studio and rehearsal spaces would be created to allow a greater range of theatre and music shows to be staged according to

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