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£50k more sought for theatre revamp

By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
£50k more sought for theatre revamp

A FURTHER sum of £50,000 could be delivered to a theatre in Dumfries — after structural issues pushed its redevelopment costs to £2.1 million.

Work is nearing completion on the dramatic revamp of The Theatre Royal in Shakespeare Street, helped by a grant of £455,000 agreed in 2013 by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
As councillors prepare to consider approving a further £50,000 award next week, chairman of the economy, environment and infrastructure committee Councillor Colin Smyth said: “As a council we were delighted to make a significant contribution towards turning the plan into a reality when we allocated £455,000 and you only have to visit the theatre to see the fantastic job that has been done.
“The refurbishment also resulted in significant investment being brought into the town from a range of external funders.
“Nowthe refurbishment work is complete, councillors will consider a final one off payment from our regeneration fund, although as a council we look forward to working with the theatre in the months and years ahead.”
Councillor Smyth describes Scotland’s oldest working theatre as a key part of regeneration in Dumfries town centre, pointing to ambitious plans for the Queen Street.
He said: “It is a building of national cultural and historic significance which could so easily have been lost to the town had it not been for the refurbishment plans from the Guild of Players.”
When funding was agreed in May 2013 the project budget was put at an estimated £1.9 million.
However, the final projected spend is now £2.1 million, due to unforeseen structural issues.
These saw the interior walls and ceilings of the original auditorium deteriorating rapidly as the building began to dry out, significantly increased mechanical and engineering costs, and an increase in water connection and disconnection charges.
The Guild of Players have helped reduce overall costs by substituting the planned sound system with second-hand equipment, and removal of the planned goods lift from the basement.
And they have given assurances they believe there will be no further potential claims under their works contracts.


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