Push for arts and theatre complex continues

Tuesday November 3rd 2015

Midlothian Council is to work with partner agencies to improve its funding bid for a £6.5 million arts and theatre complex centre at the award-winning National Mining Museum Scotland.

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed to pursue the project, which would create the first theatre in the county for 100 years, despite being turned down for a grant by the government.

Councillor Jim Bryant, the cabinet member for economic development, said: “We applied for funding from the Regeneration Capital Grants Fund to part fund the development in partnership with the mining museum.

“We’re disappointed to hear that first round bid was rejected. However, we’re determined to work with partner agencies to strengthen our case and reapply next year.

“With the Borders Railway now open, the site is just two minutes from the station at Newtongrange and 15 minutes from Waverley.
“The complex would provide a venue for existing arts groups in the area, as well as encouraging new talent – and even drawing some shows from Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe.”

He said the workshops offered a massive space, easy to reach, and the theatre would bring jobs and a much-needed economic boost to the area.
Cllr Bryant said: “We’re determined to carry on with our plans as we feel it’s a fantastic opportunity to help regenerate the area.”

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