Glasgow & West Scotland

Ayr's Gaiety Theatre gets £590,000 towards £2.4m revamp

Gaiety Theatre
Image caption The Gaiety Theatre closed in 2009 but re-opened in 2012 after a campaign to save it

Plans to fully redevelop Ayr's Gaiety Theatre are in the "home straight" after the project was awarded £590,000.

The cash - a £500,000 loan and a grant of £90,000 - means that the planned refurbishment is only about £300,000 short of its £2.4m funding target.

Originally built in 1902, the B-listed theatre closed in 2009 but reopened in 2012 after a campaign to save it.

The Ayr Gaiety Partnership is leading efforts to make the theatre a cultural and educational hub for Ayrshire.

Announcing the latest funding for the project, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said the cash would help in the regeneration of a "fantastic historic building".

"By renovating the theatre and improving the experience for audiences I'm confident that this will have a knock-on effect on the local economy, encouraging more people to visit and spend money in Ayr," he said.

'Sustainable footing'

The £500,000 loan comes from the £16m social growth fund, which was set up to provide financial assistance to charities and social enterprises.

The £90,000 grant is from the Scottish government's people and communities fund

Ian Welsh chair of Ayr Gaiety Partnership said: "This investment couldn't have come at a better time for us. We now need only around £300,000 before we can go ahead with our plans, so we are now on the home straight.

"With a fully restored theatre we will be able to put on an even better programme of shows and put our business on a sustainable footing.

"More than this, a modernised and fully equipped theatre will play a key role in our plans to provide training and employment opportunities to young people."

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