The Perth skyline will take on a dramatically different look over the next few months with the addition of a 27-metre-high crane!
Brought on site at Perth Theatre by contractors Robertson Group as part of the historic venue’s on-going restoration and redevelopment, the huge crane will be used to build the frame of the three storey extension adjacent to the B-listed Edwardian auditorium. With a 40 metre mast capable of operating 70 metres into the Perth skyline, the towering addition to the Fair City firmament will remain in situ until the winter months.
Commenting on this further exciting step towards a transformed Perth Theatre, a joint project between Horsecross Arts and Perth & Kinross Council, Horsecross Arts chief executive Gwilym Gibbons said:
“This is, quite literally, a giant leap forward towards a transformed theatre in the heart of the city and we look forward to seeing the new extension taking shape over the coming months in parallel with the continuing restoration work on the Edwardian auditorium.”
Horsecross Arts chair, Magnus Linklater said:
“The restored and redeveloped theatre will be a great addition to Perth, both to its cultural scene, and to its architecture. I hope that people in Perth and Kinross will see it as their theatre, to be used for community drama, music and dance, as well as the place to go to see the best of contemporary and classical theatre."
Kevin Dickson, regional managing director of project contractors Robertson Tayside, said:
“Bringing the crane on site marks an exciting phase in the redevelopment of Perth Theatre for the benefit of the local community and beyond. Standing against the Perth skyline, it will play a crucial role in building the new extension, providing additional foyer space, a restaurant, bars and a 200 seat studio theatre. Combined with the refurbished auditorium, we will create a revitalised creative space for performers and theatre goers to treasure.”
Leader of Perth & Kinross Council and Transform Perth Theatre Project Board Chair, Councillor Ian Miller said:
“The arrival of the crane highlights that the transformation of Perth Theatre is well underway and I warmly welcome the progress being made to redevelop this historic venue as our next step in creating a new and vibrant heart to the city.”
Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland said:
“We are making excellent progress in the construction phase of the project and look forward to managing it to successful completion next year, rejuvenating a unique cultural venue in the community.”
Philip Deverell, director, strategy at Creative Scotland said:
“Perth Theatre is one of Scotland's oldest and most historic repertory theatres. This project will transform this much loved building into a 21st century performance space complementing the international standard Perth Concert Hall at the heart of Perth's Cultural Quarter. Perth Theatre will enliven the ‘cultural quarter' creating an exhilarating new destination for people locally and nationally, that will increase and diversify audiences, and nurture new talent, through a series of inspiring programmes and collaborations.”
Perth Theatre has a long history of artistic innovation and excellence having been at the heart of cultural life in Perth for over a century. The transformation of the theatre will restore and redevelop one of Scotland’s oldest and best loved theatres for generations to come. The B listed Edwardian auditorium will be restored to its former glory and a new 200 seat studio theatre will be created. The newly transformed venue will have increased workshop spaces for creative learning and community projects including the thriving Perth Youth Theatre which turns 50 this year. Due to be completed late 2017, the High Street entrance to the building will be retained, with a new frontage created on Mill Street, improving access and facilities for visitors.
Horsecross Arts has been pledged £15.1m for Transform Perth Theatre, with funding coming 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.
Horsecross Arts is now looking to raise an additional £1.5 million from local businesses, generous visitors, audiences, communities and supporters to ensure that the newly transformed venue is fully equipped and furnished for a new century of theatre in Perth.
There are several ways to donate to the Transform Perth Theatre project ranging from buying a Perth Theatre supporter’s pin badge to seat dedication, as well as bespoke business sponsorship opportunities including naming rights for the new studio theatre, community spaces, bar and restaurant areas and auditorium boxes.
Theatre lovers can also show their support by sharing their memories of Perth Theatre through the #PlayingMyPart campaign centred on a large-scale display in sister venue Perth Concert Hall’s Threshold artspace.
Those who would like to take a more active role can find lots of suggestions for fundraising activities as well as all the donation options on the Transform Perth Theatre pages of the Horsecross Arts website at www.transformperththeatre.co.uk.
Members of the public can join the Perth Theatre Memory Collective and special guests on Tuesday 27 September and Tuesday 8 November to find out about the discoveries they have made while researching the theatre archives and for an update on the Perth Theatre building works. Click here to book these free Perth Theatre Discoveries sessions in Perth Concert Hall’s Norie-Miller Studio.