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Developing Scotland’s arts infrastructure

Although inevitably, bigger projects command the most attention, the majority of projects (around 75% of the grants awarded) have been for less than £50,000. These projects may be small but have a great impact in the communities where they have been awarded.

For example last year, a dozen pipe bands received a total of £62,150 to purchase new instruments. Awards for public artworks continue to be made to housing associations to improve the environment in their new developments.

We are especially proud of those projects that can safely claim to have ‘broken the mould’:

The Screen Machine

The Screen Machine is the first fully-equipped and fully accessible mobile cinema in the UK. Travelling from community to community, the custom-built articulated trailer, which can accommodate 110 people, can be made ready within a couple of hours.

Areas that previously had little or no arts provision can now enjoy a full programme of new films, blockbusters, classic movies and educational material. Such has been the success of the Screen machine in these remote areas that we recently awarded funds for a second Screen Machine.

The Screen Machine has recently been joined by a second mobile cinema also funded from National Lottery Funds through the Scottish Arts Council which is known as Screen Machine 2 (SM2).

The Screen Machine

The Northern Rock Festival Group

The Northern Rock Festival Group was established in 1994 in Royston, North Glasgow. In September 1999, the Group was awarded £228,628 from Lottery funds to convert the basement of a local community centre into a dedicated community music resource facility, to be known as the “Roch Rooms.”

The facility opened in October 2000 and has two recording studios, rehearsal facilities, café and access to musical instruments. A range of local youth groups are involved in courses in guitar, keyboard, percussion and DJ mixing skills. Sessions have also been provided for children of asylum seekers, pre-school groups, courses for the local Drugs Rehabilitation Project and a singing course for a women’s group.

The Northern Rock Festival Group

Eastgate Arts Centre

A significant geographic gap was identified within the Borders arts infrastructure. There was a need in particular for a mid-scale performing arts facility as a regional facility and “hub” to act as a community focus for arts participation, performance, and film. The Borders 1996 Company was established with the aim of creating enhanced facilities for the arts in Peebles and the surrounding area.

Through a concerted effort of fundraising over a number of years Borders 1996 has made this a reality through the development of the Eastgate Church in Peebles.  Work began on converting the existing B-listed 19th century Church, situated on Peebles High Street, into a 250-seat theatre and a 60-seat studio, as well as an exhibition space. The Eastgate Arts Centre opened in March 2004.

Eastgate Arts Centre

Nairn Drama Club

Nairn Drama Club, a small community based drama organisation, owned the Little Theatre (a former scout hut) which was bought and converted into a performance space in 1979.

A single storey extension was built in 1987 to provide a dressing room, toilets, coffee bar and entrance foyer. After a long process of fundraising and construction, the Nairn Theatre has been radically improved. Within the footprint of the existing site, The Theatre has expanded stage and wing space, an auditorium with seating for 77 people, improved technical facilities and improved changing facilities.

The enhancements will improve the quality of artistic activity and standards of presentation. It is also hoped other groups and touring companies will also use the space more often.

Nairn Drama Club

Glasgow Lighting Project; Glasgow Weir
Eid at Hidden Gardens, Glasgow
Hidden Gardens at Tramway, Glasgow; Photo: Andrew Leitch
Dancers at The Space Dundee; Photo: Andrew Leitch
Primary Space, Lawthorn School, Irvine, North Ayrshire. Photo: Andrew Leitch.
Glasgow lighting project by NVA; Photo: Andrew Leitch
Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow.
Coloured Poles by Ally Wallace. Royal Aberdeen Childrens Hospital
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Awarding funds from The National Lottery

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