Rothes Halls comes of age

Staff at Rothes Halls who have worked there all 21 years, from left,'Gail Hayward, Sharon Wallace, Janet Lawson, Aly Fairley.
Staff at Rothes Halls who have worked there all 21 years, from left,'Gail Hayward, Sharon Wallace, Janet Lawson, Aly Fairley.

This Sunday marks an important anniversary in the history of Fife’s cultural landscape, as Rothes Halls, the entertainment and conference venue in the heart of Glenrothes, celebrates its 21st anniversary.

The venue has maintained a diverse programme of popular music, big-name comedy, drama, dance and children’s shows throughout its lifetime, and continues to provide a vibrant cultural hub for the town.

On Tuesday, November 30, 1993, Meatloaf reigned at the top of the UK charts with I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That), future top-10-films-of-all-time fixture Schindlers List was released, and, in Fife, a 30 year old dream was realised. The Rothes Halls was, finally, a community heart for the new town to be proud of.

Glenrothes came into being in 1948, and, despite a phenomenal growth rate, the new town was somewhat lacking in a centre for the community. From the very beginning, there was no shortage of plans, but the many theatre designs from the 1960s and 70s fell by the wayside. Finally, in 1983, a plan for the Rothes Halls appeared – and, after a 10 year gestation period, a remarkable building appeared.

With a formal opening carried out by Richard Wilson OBE, the Scottish actor perhaps best known for his always hilarious turn as Victor Meldrew in the much loved BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave, November 30, 1993 gave Glenrothes much to celebrate.

Offering state-of-the-art facilities and some of the biggest, most flexible theatre spaces available in Fife, the Rothes Halls has since become a landmark at the centre of the town.

As Glenrothes was one of a series of post-war new towns set up in Scotland in the late 1940s, early growth was fostered by the Glenrothes Development Corporation (GDC), rather a local government or council. This helped the social, economic and architectural progress of the town to move at a faster than normal rate, vital in this early period of development. By 1993, the work of the corporation was almost complete and Glenrothes was a fully functional, developed settlement. Rothes Halls was something of a parting gift from the GDC, before they finally wound up just over a year later and handed control of the town to Fife Council.

Since opening, Rothes Halls has played host to a vast range of local, national and international shows; world-famous names, popular music acts, and amateur societies have all added to the venue’s history, and helped keep it an important part of local life. From sold-out shows by the likes of Jools Holland, Stereophonics, The Kinks, Biffy Clyro and The Proclaimers to local artists and photographers in our FIFESPACE and FOTOSPACE galleries, Rothes Halls continues to bring wonderful diversity of art and culture to the heart of Glenrothes.