Plans to begin the reopening of the Gaiety Theatre before the end of the year have received a further boost as South Ayrshire Council approved a loan of £50,000 for Ayr Gaiety Partnership and agreed to finalise a lease agreement for the iconic Ayr theatre.
The interest-free loan to Ayr Gaiety Partnership – the Council’s partner in the project to reopen the Gaiety – will provide working capital to support the reopening of the cafe/bar in the autumn and will be repaid over five years, with the first year payment-free.
[Pictured: An artist’s impression of the new cafe/bar, provided courtesy of architects The McLennan Partnership.]
Improvement works are set to get underway at the theatre later this month to deliver a new fully functioning cafe/bar and box office as the first stage in reopening the theatre.
Opening in the autumn, this will create a flexible facility that can be used for stand-alone events in a fabulous, modern and purpose-built space as well as providing bar facilities for theatre nights.
Alongside this, discussions will continue to finalise the details of the lease agreement for the theatre building with Councillors agreeing that the partnership can lease the building at a cost of £1 per year, with the option to purchase the property for £1 being built into the lease.
The signing of the lease will be an important element in progressing applications for further external funding for the theatre.
Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, said: “There is a hive of activity underway to reopen the Gaiety and the approval of the loan and the steps to finalise the lease are another milestone on that journey.
“One of the key challenges we face in reopening the Gaiety is to ensure it can be sustained and the investment provided by the loan will help the cafe/bar achieve just that. I am also delighted we are moving closer to finalising the lease of the building to the Partnership, which will act as a symbolic and historic handover, showing how far we have come.
“The Gaiety Theatre will reopen and reinvigorate arts and culture in this area and this now takes us closer to that becoming a reality.”
Ian Welsh, Chair of the Ayr Gaiety Partnership, added: “Getting the works underway, opening the cafe/bar and getting the keys – as it were – have been at the forefront of our initial ambitions, so this is a major step forward.
“And it’s only the start of the continuing journey to see the theatre fully operational and delivering a quality events programme for residents and visitors alike.
“That’s our ultimate aim and we’ll continue to do all we can to make it happen.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
THE ELITE AYRSHIRE BUSINESS CIRCLE
The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.
Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and business excellence that abounds here within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.
Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel, Turnberry Golf Resort and South Ayrshire Council. Member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.
Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes is executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor Murdoch MacDonald.
Founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle:
South Ayrshire Council http://www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk
Clydesdale Bank http://www.cbonline.co.uk
Turnberry Hotel and Golf Resort http://www.turnberry.co.uk
Ayr Racecourse http://www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk
Western House Hotel http://www.westernhousehotel.co.uk
CKD Galbraith Property Consultants http://www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk
Frazer Coogans Solicitors http://www.frazercoogans.co.uk
Accident & Injury Claims Centre http://www.accidentclaims.com
MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers http://www.mackaycorporate-brokers.com
Donald Ross Estate Agents: http://www.donaldross.co.uk
Westgale Ltd Building Contractors http://www.westgale.co.uk
Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants http://www.sinclairscott.com
Paligap Creative Agency http://www.paligap.com
ARP Lorimer & Associates Architects http://www.arpl.co.uk
JB Management – Training Providers http://www.jb-management.com
Brunston Castle Golf Club http://www.brunstoncastle.co.uk
Fouters Restaurant http://www.fouters.co.uk
Christie Financial Planning Ltd http://www.christiefp.com
Allison Lightbody Waddell Chartered Surveyors http://www.alwsurveyors.com
Kestrel Press http://www.kestrelpress.com
Fame Publicity Services Public Relations Consultancy http://www.famepublicity.co.uk
West Sound Radio http://www.westsound.co.uk
Easton Kitchens & Bathrooms
For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Fame Publicity Services
10 Miller Road
Scotland KA7 2AY