National Theatre unveils new HQ and backing from EuroMillions winners

The new National Theatre of Scotland HQ has been created on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The new National Theatre of Scotland HQ has been created on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal.
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The National Theatre of Scotland has offered the first glimpses inside the former cash and carry warehouse which will become a new powerhouse for the creation of new shows.

Three rehearsal rooms, costume and prop stores, workshops, offices and an education suite are being created at the £6.5 million “Rockvilla” complex, on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal, which staff move into into this week.

New spaces for rehearsals, workshops, costume-making and set design are being created at Rockvilla.

New spaces for rehearsals, workshops, costume-making and set design are being created at Rockvilla.

The project, which has been in the planning stages for more than three years, will double the amount of space NTS has at its currently headquarters nearby in the Speirs Wharf area, north of the M8 motorway.

NTS announced it had smashed a fundraising target ahead of an official opening in January by bringing in more than £2 million in donations - half of which has come from EuroMillions lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir, from Ayrshire.

The couple, both long-time patrons of NTS, have agreed to donate half a million pounds each to help boost a fundraising campaign which has been backed by stars like Alan Cumming, Blythe Duff, Greg Hemphill and Lorraine McIntosh, all of whom have worked with the company in its first decade.

Actors, writers, designers and directors are all expected to regularly visit the 37,000 sq ft complex, which more than 3000 people are expected to use the new facility each year, including visiting school pupils and community groups, as well as the company’s 50 staff and around 700 freelance workers.

The Rockvilla complex has been designed by award-winning Glasgow architects Hoskins, who are also working on an extension to the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh and an overhaul of Aberdeen Art Gallery.

NTS, which secured public funding of more than £3 million towards the project, said fundraising would continue ahead of a planned official opening for the new building in January.

In a statemount announcing their support, Colin and Chris Weir said: “It is a great pleasure for us to support this next exciting chapter of the National Theatre of Scotland.

“As well as becoming a beacon that will attract some of the world’s finest artists to come and make work here in Scotland, we’re excited about the possibilities that Rockvilla will create for our young people and communities to engage in life-changing arts activity and to nurture theatre-making talent for generations to come.”