Winners of £700k Creative Scotland funding named

A FORMER fire station, a historic kirk building, stable blocks and part of a hospital will be transformed into new arts and cultural centres under a nationwide funding programme.

A Christmas Carol at Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy. The building will be converted to a year-round arts space with the new funding. Picture: NTS
A Christmas Carol at Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy. The building will be converted to a year-round arts space with the new funding. Picture: NTS
A Christmas Carol at Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy. The building will be converted to a year-round arts space with the new funding. Picture: NTS

A pop-up eco-cinema, a programme to help island film-makers, facilities for “aerial theatre and circus skills”, a Fringe venue to be transformed into a year-round theatre, plus a new showcase for Scottish photography are among the other ventures to benefit.

The £700,000 programme – covering projects as far afield as Lanarkshire, Stornoway, Aberdeen and Orkney – cover a mix of new and established arts organisations.

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They are the latest beneficiaries of Creative Scotland’s capital funding scheme, which helps arts venues and organisations get new projects off the ground.

Among the established venues to be awarded the funding are the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, Perth Concert Hall, and Stills gallery and photography centre in Edinburgh.

Projects around the country were able to bid for between £10,000 and £100,000 of funding from the national arts agency’s small capital fund.

Last September, it announced a round of grants for much bigger projects, including the redevelopment of Moat Brae, the Dumfriesshire townhouse said to have inspired JM Barrie to write Peter Pan, the “Star of Caledonia” landmark sculpture project at the Scotland-England border, and an extension for the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The latest round covers 22 different projects, with artforms ranging from visual art, theatre and craft-making to Gaelic arts and choir singing.

Among the highlights are the first major grant for a bid to turn Dunfermline’s Art Deco fire station, which has been lying empty for the last two years, into a new multi-purpose arts centre.

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A gallery, classroom, studio space for about 20 artists and a cafe are all envisaged as part of the £160,000 project.

Marketing consultant Sarah Young said: “Dunfermline is growing all the time, but although there are good venues for live music and a vibrant scene, it doesn’t have any kind of proper arts centre. This is a real vote of confidence in what we’re trying to do.”

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Elsewhere in Fife, former stables at the 18th-century Cambo Estate, in Kingsbarns, near St Andrews, will be turned into new multi-purpose arts space, while a bid to turn Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk into a year-round arts centre has received a boost with funding for stage and lighting facilities.

Rosemary Potter, secretary of the Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust, said: “The acoustics in the old kirk make it ideal for concerts but this funding should help us improve the facilities and help secure funding from elsewhere.”

Take One Action, an Edinburgh-based group which stages film festivals dedicated to environmental and global concern issues, has won backing for a “bespoke pop-up cinema tent” now expected to go on tour throughout the country.

Artistic director Simon Bateson said: “Our pop-up solar cinema will bring incredible films about our shared planet to even more people across Scotland.”

Eden Court Theatre in Inverness has joined forces with Scottish Opera to create a brand new orchestra pit, which will secure better sightlines between the musicians and conductor and allow companies such as Scottish Opera to bring their full repertoire to the theatre.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which already boasts some 1,200 artworks in its corridors, wards and waiting rooms, will be developing a new “creative hub” for a local arts trust to stage exhibitions, displays, special events and classes.

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The Glue Factory arts centre, north of the M8 in Glasgow, has won backing towards the creation of new exhibition and performance spaces, while the sports hall at the Lochgelly Centre in Fife will be fitted with circus skills equipment. The future of the Gable End Theatre on the island of Hoy in Orkney has been secured with its grant.

Assembly Theatre, one of the leading promoters on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, has won funding to overhaul the B-listed building which has been home to its Roxy venue over the last two summers and turn it into a year-round 200-seater venue.

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Artistic director William Burdett-Coutts said: “We are keen on deepening our contribution to the arts in Edinburgh beyond the festival. We are so pleased to have secured this funding to allow us to better support artistic charitable companies in Edinburgh and from further afield to present in Edinburgh.”

The full list:


• Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s arts trust will develop a new headquarters and creative hub for exhibitions, displays, interactive events and education workshops.£56,000

Tarbert (Argyll and Bute)

• The Tarbert Arts & Leisure Centre will provide new digital media classes and events.£13,100


• Drake Music Scotland will purchase new equipment for music-making opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.£25,000

• Take One Action will buy new a new pop-up cinema tent to show films of global and environmental concern around the country.£13,375

• Assembly Theatre will carry out improvements at its Roxy Fringe venue and create a permanent 200-seater theatre.£30,000

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• Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts will be creating new facilities and expanding its programmes for new and established craft-makers. £14,917

• The Stills gallery and centre for photography will offer enhanced facilities and resources for artists.£10,833


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Rural Nations, an artist-led production company, will develop its short film-making programme with the use of new cinematic-quality facilities.£16,500


• Kirkcaldy Old Kirk will undergo the first phase of a transformation into a new community arts and heritage centre.£31,500

• The former fire station in Dunfermline will be brought back to life as an arts centre boasting a gallery, cafe and studio spaces.£30,000

• The Cambo Stables Project will see a run-down building brought back to life as a new cultural centre on the 18th century estate.£97,466

• The Lochgelly Centre’s plans include renovation of the main theatre and studio theatre, and provision of new aerial facilities in its sports hall.£56,000


• The Tron Theatre will upgrade its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning facilities.£47,433

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Street Level Photoworks will create a new retail area to house a selection of the finest Scottish photography.£13,811

• The Glue Factory will improve its exhibition and performance spaces.£29,995

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• YDance, Scotland’s national youth dance organisation, will get a new sprung dance floor, lighting equipment and storage space for its home in the Briggait arts centre.£17,296


• Fèis Rois will be able to buy two mobile recording units, computers and office furniture for its music tuition programme for children and young people throughout the Highlands.£10,223

• Eden Court Theatre’s redeveloped orchestra pit will boast improved sightlines between conductor and musicians.£65,000

• Fèisean nan Gàidheal will be able to buy new computer equipment to help develop its Gaelic arts tuition festivals throughout Scotland.£23,764

Perth and Kinross

• Perth Concert Hall will be boosted by new high-quality lighting and sound systems. £77,540


• Soundsational Community Music will be able to expand the number of junior and senior choir groups it organises.£16,776


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• Gable End Theatre on the island of Hoy will benefit from new sound, lighting and projection equipment.£14,223