TWO community projects in Campbeltown are to benefit from funding from Argyll and Bute Council.
Grants will go towards the restoration of The Picture House in Campbeltown, and to help set up a new water activities centre in the town.
A total of £40,000 will go to The Picture House, and £20,000 to Kintyre Seasports, subject to various conditions being met.
The funding will come from surplus Campbeltown regeneration funds.
The Picture House is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas in Europe and the project to restore the A-listed building to its 1930s glory is already at an advanced stage, with the construction phase almost complete.
This funding will help meet a shortfall in the restoration costs and with the fitting out of the foyer and catering facilities. It follows financial support of £190,000 already approved by the Council for the group behind the project, Campbeltown Community Business (CCB).
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has also increased its funding in the project, from £300,000 to £371,388. The grants combined with other local fundraising will ensure the completion of this ambitious and exciting venture.
Policy Lead for Strategic Finance and Capital Regeneration and Depute Council Leader, Councillor Gary Mulvaney, said: “I’m delighted we are able to support these funding requests.
“Once complete, The Picture House will be a fantastic community entertainment hub for the local community and for visitors.
“Our additional funding will help the community, doing an amazing job in bringing this historic and beautiful building back to life, deliver a great resource and ensure the future of a community business.
“With our funding partners we have been able to ensure the dream of a restored Picture House for the 21st century will indeed become a reality.
“This and the Kintyre Seasports proposal support employment and the economy and represent exactly the Council’s vision for Argyll and Bute – a great place in which to live, work and invest.”
Jennifer Nicoll, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said: “This is great news for CCB and for Campbeltown. CCB has done a fantastic job driving forward their ambitious plans to turn this amazing building into the main arts and cultural centre for Kintyre. It is a great example of a community initiative that will bring about real positive change in the area. The project highlights the value of community assets in making the region a more attractive place to live, work, study and invest in and we very much look forward to seeing it take shape.”
Campbeltown Community Business chairman Jane Mayo said: “Argyll and Bute Council, HIE and other funding partners have supported our Centenary Project from the very beginning. Back in 2009, a £5,000 Council grant enabled CCB to submit their first application to the Heritage Lottery Fund at the start of a long but successful road to the restoration and improvement to the town's iconic Picture House.
“We are extremely grateful for the continuing support from the Council, HIE and our other funders during the intervening eight years, culminating in this award for much-needed funds to complete the project. We hope that Campbeltown Picture House will stand as a welcoming attraction for visitors to the town and wider Kintyre.”
On completion of the £3.4 million renovation, The Picture House will provide a 193-seat restored historic cinema auditorium which can also be used for live music and theatre; a new 52-seat auditorium; new foyer and café; an exhibition area; and a meeting / committee room.
The Council has already invested £190,000 in the project, with other supporters as well as HIE including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, the Coastal Communities Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.
Kintyre Seasports will receive £20,000 to develop plans for a water activities hub, to be built near the existing yacht club. The proposal is to offer a range of sports, plus provide equipment and training. The funding is to allow them to complete a full business case for the plan and is dependent on the group also raising funding from elsewhere.
The Seasports project aims to deliver new premises for Campbeltown Sailing Club, bring Dalintober beach into active use, and provide better facilities for local organisations such as the Sea Cadets. The hope is to develop a sailing school for the community and people from outwith Kintyre, increase membership of local clubs, and increase tourism as activities develop.
Kintyre Seasports is a 14-strong partnership with Campbeltown Sailing Club the lead partner.