The UK Government has awarded £2 million towards the renovation of The King’s Theatre which will ensure it becomes fully accessible for the first time. This is part of an £8 million package allocated by the government to 17 community assets in Scotland.

The funding from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund has been welcomed by Capital Theatres which is in charge of the £35.6 million project.

Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres, said: “We are absolutely thrilled by this generous investment in the redevelopment of the King’s Theatre from the Community Ownership Fund. This enables us
to ensure the King’s offers a fully accessible welcome to audiences, artists and staff alike and preserves it for future generations.

“We are immensely grateful for all the support received so far to make this project possible and to save the beloved King’s Theatre for Tollcross, Edinburgh and beyond. It is fantastic to have the input of the Community Ownership Fund, and we hope it inspires more people to support us in protecting this treasured building for the long term.”

The refurbishment will include state of the art back of house facilities to attract more productions to the theatre, a new street level café, new bar and entertaining spaces as well as a double height Creative Engagement studio.

The Community Ownership Fund, part of the UK Government’s levelling up policy, supports assets which are at risk of being lost to the community. It forms part of a substantial package of UK wide levelling-up interventions building opportunity and empowering communities to improve their local places. IN addition to funding for The King’s the government has allocated £550,000 to transform the old Co-op bakery in West Calder into an interactive discovery and learning centre offering community events and educational programmes.

During a visit to the King’s on Thursday, UK Government Minister for Scotland
John Lamont said: “Loved by so many at this time of year for its pantos, this £2m award to the historic King’s Theatre from the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fundis well deserved, oh yes it is!

“I’ve seen first hand the ongoing upgrade works on what is fondly known as “the people’s theatre” and heard about the exciting plans for when it reopens
in 2025. I’m delighted this funding will help ensure that this cherished venue can be enjoyed by generations to come and congratulate the team behind it in their efforts to save the King’s for theatregoers, artists and the community alike.

“We are investing more than £2.7 billion across Scotland to create jobs and opportunities.”

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Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter.
Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist and iPhoneographer.