Edinburgh's King's Theatre: Renovation funding plan is great news for the city – Angus Robertson

I know many across the city have been delighted to hear the news that the King’s Theatre has secured the much-needed money to begin funding renovations, ensuring its doors will remain open.
An image showing the planned renovation of Edinburgh's King's TheatreAn image showing the planned renovation of Edinburgh's King's Theatre
An image showing the planned renovation of Edinburgh's King's Theatre

While the previous SNP-led council administration and Scottish Government contributed towards the theatre’s initial fundraising for the project, Brexit, the invasion of Ukraine and Tory economic mismanagement have caused high inflation, labour shortages and increasing construction material costs. Consequently, a further £8.9 million was needed to avoid the doors closing on the theatre for good.

Much deserved thanks go to Edinburgh SNP and Green councillors who, in their budget proposals, launched a plan to save the King’s Theatre. SNP councillors, Finlay McFarlane and Amy McNeese-Mechan, led calls for the council leader and other parties to match this pledge, which was agreed upon in the recently passed budget.

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The Scottish Government has committed an additional £3.85 million to the renovations which will allow work to begin on the project, with the theatre management confident the remaining funding gap can be obtained as the works progress.

The remaining funds could have been supplied by the UK Government via Rishi Sunak’s Levelling Up Fund. However, they sadly turned down Edinburgh’s application for a share of this money. Now the UK Government’s Scotland Secretary, Alistair Jack MP, has been called upon by his own colleagues to deliver.

While we await any UK Government contribution, it is good to see the Scottish Government delivering for the King’s Theatre and I look forward greatly to the works being completed.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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