Edinburgh's King’s Theatre may be thrown a lifeline by UK Government – John McLellan
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After the failure of Edinburgh’s Council’s catch-all bid for UK Government Levelling Up funds for improvements to several of the city’s venues, Ms Gibson said there was just over a month to bridge a gap of £9 million as the cost of essential refurbishments to the Leven Street venue soared to £35.6m. Last week Lothian MSP Sue Webber wrote to Scotland Secretary Alister Jack to ask if money could be found from other budgets, and it has quickly emerged that there may indeed be a lifeline.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s UK budget on March 15 will be crucial but there is optimism that funds will be put in place for later in the project so the contractors will have the guarantees they need to get started without current budgets being affected. A kind of fund-as-you-go arrangement.
Further meetings are said to be taking place this week, and while there might not be a formal announcement at this stage, council insiders are confident the theatre will be saved. But that still doesn’t explain the purpose behind a pick’n’mix application for government money that never had much chance of success.
Window dressing? Being seen to be doing something? Who knows, but at least the UK Government is fully aware of the theatre’s importance at all levels of Edinburgh’s entertainment and cultural economy.