Perth & Kinross Council Development Management Committee has formally approved the plans to restore and redevelop Perth’s 115-year old theatre.
Following the sign off of the plans on Wednesday 12 August, Horsecross Arts and Transform Perth Theatre project partners Perth & Kinross Council have announced two further Open Sessions which will take place in Perth Concert Hall’s Norie-Miller Studio on Monday 21 September. Open to all the two free hour-long Open Sessions at 6pm and 7pm will give members of the public the opportunity to come along and view and comment on the theatre plans following presentations by the Transform Perth Theatre project team. Contact Horsecross Arts Box Office on 01738 621031 www.horsecross.co.uk to book a space for this ticketed event.
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts, the creative organisation behind Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre which is leading the Transform Perth Theatre project along with project partners Perth & Kinross Council said:
“We are delighted at this major leap forward on the path to transform Perth Theatre. Now that the plans have been approved, the project will move forward in earnest. Such was the interest in our Open Sessions in April 2015, we are delighted to invite the public along to meet us once again due to popular demand. The restored and redeveloped Perth Theatre will be at the heart of the community and the cultural map of Scotland for many generations to come and it is important that the local community get the opportunity to have their say and play their part.”
Members of the public can view the plans online in the Planning section of the Perth & Kinross Council website http://tinyurl.com/nbup9vx where they will be able to access plans and layouts of all floors, building elevations and sections and architects impressions of exteriors and interiors.
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 celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, and there will be improved access and facilities for audiences and visitors.
Horsecross Arts has been pledged £15.1m for the Perth Theatre redevelopment from project partners Perth & Kinross Council, Creative Scotland, The Gannochy Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund, trusts and foundations, generous individuals and other supporters or funding bodies. Horsecross is working hard to raise an additional £1.5 million to ensure that the newly transformed venue is fully equipped and furnished for a new century of theatre in Perth. Trusts and foundations, local businesses, communities and many of the theatre’s patrons have been showing their support.
Theatre lovers and audiences have also been playing their part through donation schemes and seat dedication. All Horsecross Arts customers have the option to donate £1 or more when booking tickets for any events online or through Perth Concert Hall Box Office, or to donate a sum of their choice to the Transform Perth Theatre fund online at http://www.horsecross.co.uk/be-part-it. Open to all, Take your Seat invites donors to pledge £250 or more to secure a seat in the new Studio Theatre while invited donations of £400 or more will secure a fully refurbished seat in the historic Edwardian auditorium. All seat donors will receive a unique dedication of their choice. Generous organisations and individuals can also undertake fundraising activities of their own with the support and encouragement of the Horsecross Arts fundraising team.
While the theatre is closed, Horsecross Arts is continuing to offer a wide-ranging drama programme under the banner of Perth Theatre Out and About as well as staging theatre in Perth Concert Hall with a series of co-productions and visiting shows. Next up on the Perth Concert Hall stage is Edinburgh Festival hot pick Peter Arnott’s Janis Joplin Full Tilt on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 September. Audiences can also look forward to another family pantomime in Perth Concert Hall as Horsecross Arts presents Beauty and the Beast from Sat 12 to Sat 26 December, directed by Ian Grieve and starring Perth’s favourite Dame, Barrie Hunter.