Pittenweem Arts Festival draws £10,000 payout

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Organisers of the popular Pittenweem Arts Festival have secured an award of almost £10,000, allowing modernisation works to go ahead at its base in the burgh.

Over the years, the festival has grown into one of Scotland’s leading arts events, attracting over 25,000 visitors each year for the nine-day programme.

In 2009, Fife Council agreed to sell to the festival board the ground floor premises at 47 High Street - it was used as a box office and meeting place - for the market value of £120,000. However, only £35,000 of that sum - being its value as a box office - had to be paid by the charity at that time, with the balance of £85,000 becoming payable only when it sold the property.

However, the permanent base is in need of refurbishment and, last year, the festival board gained planning permission for the upgrade project and applied for funds from various bodies.

Festival chair Jean Duncan said an application to Awards for All had been successful and its contribution of £9984 as part of match funding would allow a start to the work once this year’s festival was over.

At present, the building houses two artists’ studios and an office but, once modernised, Art @ 47, as it is called, could offer workshop programmes, classes and projects throughout the year, outside the festival itself.

The flexible space can also hold small exhibitions, be available for hire for meetings and arts related or community use.

The 2011 festival will run from August 6-14.