Five performing arts venues in south of Scotland receive share of £4.74m emergency funding

Eastgate Theatre in Peebles was awarded £70,000 in emergency funding Credit: Eastgate Theatre

Five performing arts theatres in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway are among those to be awarded tens of thousands of pounds to help mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government have not yet confirmed when performing arts venues can reopen. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the provisional date, of the 5th October, now seems "unlikely" due to a rise in cases across the country.

The Eastgate Theatre in Peebles received £70,000, £29,900 was awarded to Mac Arts in Galashiels, and Heart of Hawick was given £68,147 from the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, through Creative Scotland.Catstrand in Dumfries and Galloway received £75,000, and Dumfries Theatre Royal was awarded £103,068.The aim of the funding is to remove the threat of closure and bridge the financial gap until reopening plans can be made.

As well as to allow for specialist and core staff to return from furlough, and to increase commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners (between now and end of March 2021) to support continued public engagement while closed. "If we can't open the theatre, if we can't put on events then we can't earn money, and then we can't afford to pay staff or employ artists and practitioners ," explained Caroline Adam, general manager of the Eastgate Theatre.

Eastgate Theatre general manager says the funding will "make all the difference."

"So like the rest of the arts industry, it's hugely important for us to get some support at this time."It will make all the difference because after October the furlough scheme we've benefitted from over the last few months, that goes. "There is a new new job support scheme but frankly it's really not going to make much of an impact for us. So to know that we had enough money to be assured of keeping the team together for the rest of the financial year is really important."The support of the community has been hugely important during this time. We're so thankful people have continued to come to the cafe when we reopened that in July, that's helped a lot."

“Despite the ongoing, detrimental impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on Scotland’s performing arts venues, and on culture as a whole, it is positive that we can offer some funding to help venues navigate these extremely challenging times," said Iain MunroCEOCreative Scotland."I’m also encouraged to see that this funding will help venues across many different parts of Scotland where they form such an important part of the cultural life of local communities.”