WORK to reopen Leith Theatre is taking a further step forward after the category B-listed building was awarded a grant from Theatres Trust.
The theatre, which lay empty between 1988 and 2016, has been awarded £11,000 to support Leith Theatre Trust with business planning, leadership training and a package of consultancy work to strengthen its operation.
Leith Theatre opened in 1932, having been built for the people of Leith “as a gift from the people of Edinburgh” following the Burgh of Leith’s incorporation into Edinburgh.
The building is part of a complex that includes Leith Library, the Registrar’s Office and the Thomas Morton Hall.
Lynn Morrison, executive director of Leith Theatre Trust, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding and most especially at this time.
“We are a theatre at risk and a business start-up, with major refurbishment and construction needs.
“This funding allows us to prioritise strategic next steps for Leith Theatre and invest in expertise to work with us to support our business planning.
“The timing could not be more perfect and will help to build confidence at this time as we plan for what will be a new future.”
Leith Theatre is one of 30 sites listed on Theatres Trust’s 2020 theatres at risk register.
It is one of six venues to receive funding, with money also being handed to Brighton Hippodrome, Derby Hippodrome, Granada in Walthamstow, Groundings Theatre in Portsmouth and Streatham Hill Theatre in London.
Claire Appleby, the Theatres Trust’s architecture advisor, added: “We know how difficult it can be for theatres to raise funding for the early stage concept and viability works and for organisational support.
“These first stages of a project provide the vital foundations for both project and organisation, and we hope that with this support, these theatres will be able to make real progress.”
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