£340,000 funding for Fife theatre as live shows set to resume after 18-month absence
and live on Freeview channel 276
It was one of ten venues and organisations across the Kingdom which shared over £650,000 of support 18 months into the pandemic.
The cash, which came in the second round of the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund (COVR) is designed to help prevent insolvency and/or significant job losses due to the impact of COVID-19.
The Alhambra’s cash boost comes as the theatre confirms its long-awaited return to hosting live shows after 18 months in the dark.
The lights will go up for the first time since March 2020 when comedian Al Murray takes to the stage on September 10.
The venue was one of a number to be handed a financial lifeline as the creative sector is only now able to plan ahead as restrictions on audience numbers are finally eased.
The fund gave £117,000 to the Byre Theatre in St Andrews, and £48,000 to Fife Cultural Trust which runs venues including the Adam Smith Theatre, Rothes Halls, Lochgelly Centre and Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline.
The trust has already cancelled plans for a full autumn programme, with only a handful of Christmas shows scheduled, and Kirkcaldy’s long established pantomime cancelled for a second successive year.
There was also crucial financial support for smaller venues, including £21,000 to Society in Kirkcaldy, and £10,000 to The Duchess pub in town.
Businesses which serve the creative sector also secured key funding.
Kirkcaldy based ARRO Lighting and Events Ltd, which provides public space lighting, got £20,000, while £15,000 went to Kelty based F4F event services Ltd. which provides crews for a wide range of major events.
The fund also gave £25,000 to St Andrews Voices - Scotland’s only festival of vocal and choral music.
Jenny Gilruth, Culture Minister, and MSP for Glenrothes, said “I am delighted that this vital funding is reaching the culture sector, which has endured some of the most challenging restrictions over the past 18 months.
“It’s exciting that the sector can now plan for full reopening. The communal experience of being part of an audience cannot be replicated, and it has been sorely missed since the start of the pandemic.”She said Scotland’s move to beyond Level Zero restrictions would allow the sector to fully re-open, but added: “ I know that it will take some time to rebuild.
“This funding will play a key role in stabilising many venues and businesses as the sector begins to recover.”Joan Parr, interim director of arts and engagement added:: “Our first priority continues to be supporting the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s art and creative sector as Covid-19 restrictions are eased and the sector can open up again more fully.
“We remain acutely aware of the critical challenges faced by so many cultural organisations, and we know how vital this funding is in continuing to help protect jobs and support the sustainability of a sector that has felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic so significantly.”