Inverclyde Council and the Scottish Government have joined forces to provide a funding package to save Greenock’s Beacon Arts Centre from administration.
The Council has approved a capital funding package totalling £1.2m and the Scottish Government will put £600,000 into the arts centre which opened its doors in January 2013.
The funding will allow the board – The Greenock Arts Guild – to secure the long term future of the Beacon Arts Centre including the final settlement sum for construction of project.
Inverclyde Council leader, Councillor Stephen McCabe, said: “The Beacon is Inverclyde’s newest visitor attraction and in its first year of operation has proved to be its most popular. This and the 60 jobs are part of the reason that it is important that this facility is saved from going into administration. The long term viability of the Beacon Arts Centre is good for Greenock, good for Inverclyde and good for the wider arts and cultural offering in Scotland.
“I am delighted that my fellow councillors have supported this funding package and that the Scottish Government are standing beside us in continuing to support and delivering the long term viability of the Beacon Arts Centre.
“These are difficult times for all public services and difficult decisions are facing the council. The Beacon Arts Centre must now deliver on their business plan and ensure that the support from the council and Government is public money well spent.
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, MSP, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring everyone in Scotland has an opportunity to access, enjoy and participate in cultural activity, and the Beacon Theatre is doing much to increase access to culture and the arts. We want to see regeneration and jobs created in Inverclyde and Scottish Government investment in Greenock is supporting this.
“I am delighted to announce that, exceptionally, the Scottish Government will support the Beacon to help to secure its future, giving support of £100,000 this financial year, followed by £500,000 before 31 March 2017. This is in addition to the Regular Funding revenue support the theatre already receives from Creative Scotland.
“I want The Beacon, supported by a partnership of public bodies, to be able to build upon its initial success and continue to grow, supporting not just culture and jobs in Greenock, but forming a key part of our national cultural infrastructure.
“The Beacon will further strengthen its relationship with our national performing companies. The premiere of NTS touring production of ‘Yer Granny!’ is already planned to take place at The Beacon, and we expect partnerships with other theatres to be built on. If the proposed legal action is successful, the Government will receive its share of any money raised.”
In addition to the funding of £1.2m, Inverclyde councillors also decided to support The Beacon with an eight year revenue fund of £750,000 as its commitment to ongoing arts development within the community. The existing £50,000 annual support from the council will supplemented by this package of support to help Beacon to a firm footing as a regional centre for the arts in the community. This additional annual funding is subject to ongoing continuity of provision of services.