WITH Perth Theatre due to reopen later in 2017, Horsecross Arts has announced that it has raised almost £0.4m towards the final fundraising target of £1.5m.
The announcement follows awards from several trusts and foundations including Dunard Fund, The Hugh Fraser Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Barcapel Foundation and Baldoukie Charitable Trust.
It also follows a concentrated campaign to encourage individuals to contribute in the form of donations and seat dedication.
Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “The Wolfson Foundation has its roots in Scotland and we are always delighted to be funding outstanding Scottish projects.
“The ambitious plans for Perth Theatre certainly fall into that category, and we were particularly impressed by the visionary aim to create a centre of excellence for young people and emerging talent.”
The creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre had already confirmed pledges of £15.1m towards the £16.6m transformation from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, Creative Scotland, The Gannochy Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, other trusts and foundations, individual donations and other supporters and funding bodies.
The remaining £1.5m is to help Horsecross Arts fully kit-out the restored and redeveloped theatre.
As work continues; construction has reached a significant milestone with the imminent removal of the giant crane that has dominated the Perth city skyline for the past six months.
And with gilding work started in the B-listed auditorium, the restoration of Perth’s historic venue is also well on track.
Kevin Dickson, regional managing director, Robertson Tayside, said: “The removal of the crane will mark a huge leap forward as we close in the building envelope, enabling us to complete the full internal restoration of Perth Theatre.
“As one of Scotland’s oldest repertory theatres, sensitive renovation work is crucial and our priority now is to continue with the gilding of the auditorium to really bring the theatre back to life. We want to provide the perfect backdrop for the creative community, performers and theatre goers to enjoy.”
Gary Bushnell, chief executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: “The project is making excellent progress and the removal of the crane will signal a move into the final phase of the programme, which will focus on internal work such as detailed gilding and see many original features fully refurbished within this historic venue.”
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, said: “We are delighted to be nearly a third of the way towards reaching our £1.5m fundraising target to fully kit-out the transformed Perth Theatre.
“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and commitment of all our funders. From the individual who throws a few coins into a collection tin, to substantial awards from trusts and foundations to our key funders and partners who have put millions into the project, everyone can look forward with excitement to what we are achieving together.
“We are confident that we will meet our funding target and deliver the finished theatre on time, on budget and ready for future generations of theatre lovers to enjoy.”
Councillor Bob Band, depute provost of Perth & Kinross Council, and member of the Perth Theatre Redevelopment Board, said: “Perth Theatre is a very important, and much-loved, part of the cultural landscape of Perth.
“As we work towards submitting Perth’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, it’s great to see the transformation of Perth Theatre reach this stage, bringing closer the day when the theatre reopens, bringing new and returning audiences to the city.”
To dedicate a theatre seat and for more information on all the Transform Perth Theatre fundraising options call the development team on 01738 472731, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.transformperththeatre.co.uk.