Media Release: Cultural facilities across Scotland boosted with Small Capital funding

TWENTY-eight awards totalling over £1m have been made across the country to improve cultural facilities as part of Creative Scotland’s Small Capital programme.

The purchase of a professional electric kiln for use by artists and members of the public in Ullapool; providing access to the latest in digital filmmaking equipment for around 250 aspiring filmmakers in Edinburgh; the conversion of a disused building in Caithness into a new centre for arts and cultural activity; and the refurbishment of Scotland’s oldest working theatre, in Dumfries, are among the diverse range of work which will be supported.

Small Capital awards of funding are made for organisations to undertake refurbishments and purchase equipment to improve access, presentation and enjoyment of the arts and film for artists and audiences throughout Scotland.

Iain Munro, director of creative development at Creative Scotland, said: “These Small Capital awards will help theatres, galleries and cinemas increase access to local communities; enable young people to learn valuable skills using the latest in digital technology; and assist organisations purchase equipment to stage performances in venues throughout Scotland – and so much more.”

Allison Weightman, ceramicist and committee member at Ullapool visual arts organisation An Talla Solais said: “We are so excited to be able to install a kiln at An Talla Solais. It will mean we can really open up opportunities here for people to make new discoveries and learn new skills.”

Neil Rolland of Screen Education Scotland said: “We are delighted at this award, which will enable us to purchase the latest in digital film technology, in order to continue supporting and developing new voices in Edinburgh and ensure that individuals, no matter what their background, have access to the best training, support, facilities and technology available.”

Funding has been awarded to:


Funding of £34,574 will go towards upgrading facilities at Pitlochry Festival Theatre in Perthshire, including the installation of a new computer server and air conditioning unit, to improve visitor experience and help ensure the theatre continues to attract more than 100,000 people a year.


With the award of £4,145 to Gargunnock Community Trust Ltd the fully refurbished community centre of the small village of Gargunnock can equip its performance space with an adaptable sound system, lighting rig and curtaining so that it can host a wide range of events by and for the village.

Stirling-based arts centre Macrobert’s educational work with children and young people will be developed thanks to the purchase using funding of £32,749 of key technical equipment such as new iMacs for use by young filmmakers and a digital sound system to replace the current analogue system.


Cyldebuilt Puppet Theatre tour the length and breadth of Scotland from their base in Strathmiglo, Fife, performing more than 200 shows and workshops a year performing to children and adults within their own communities. Funding of £9,296 enables them to buy a new touring vehicle and lighting rig.

Cowdenbeath-based Kingdom Brass runs five brass and percussion groups for a wide range of age groups and the award of £46,901 will contribute to the refurbishment of their rehearsal space to improve acoustics and partition its one main space to create separate rehearsal areas.


The award of £8,874 will enable visual arts initiative Project Slogan to refurbish and buy new equipment for their studio and gallery facilities in Aberdeen. This will help artists at the start of their professional careers develop their careers and create new experimental work while remaining based in the city. It is also hoped to attract new artists to work in Aberdeen.


Helmsdale Heritage and Arts Association which runs Timespan, an acclaimed heritage and arts centre in one of the most sparsely populated parts of the UK – Helmsdale, Sutherland in the North East Highlands – will purchase and refurbish a house with the help of funding of £100,000 which will be used to host artist’s residencies and create income from lets.

Thanks to the award of £11,000, An Talla Solais visual arts centre in Ullapool will be able to install a professional electric kiln, which, along with a new workspace, can be used by practising artists and the public.

Funding of £25,000 will contribute to Inverness multi-arts venue Eden Court’s purchase of a digital projector for use in their OneTouch Theatre which screens independent and mainstream cinema.

The award of £29,103 to Caithness Craft Art Skate Surf Ltd will be used to convert a disused building in Caithness into a new centre for arts and cultural activity, The North Base, with dedicated print and ceramics studios, a gallery space, and café for use by artists and members of the public including users of the adjacent skatepark.


Funding of £44,977 will enable St Magnus International Festival in Orkney to buy a range of equipment including a Steinway piano and new staging. This will save hire costs during the annual Festival and generate income through the equipment being hired out at other times of the year.

Dumfries and Galloway

As a result of gaining the award of £25,000, Lochside Theatre, the local community theatre for Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway which is operated entirely by volunteers, will be able to work towards purchasing and installing an up to date digital projection system to allow regular screening of movies and future live streaming of arts productions from around the world thus extending the community use of the theatre.

The Stove is a new artist-led creative hub being developed in a three story building in the centre of Dumfries which will contain a café space, performance and exhibition space as well as workspaces for businesses working in the creative industries. The award of £100,000 will go towards essential refurbishment work, making the building accessible for all and showcasing the creative talent in Dumfries and Galloway.

Built in 1792, the Theatre Royal, Dumfries is Scotland’s oldest working theatre and the award of £100,000 will be used towards a £1.6m programme to comprehensively refurbish and expand the existing theatre to create a high quality modern centre to include a new studio for youth theatre, education and rehearsal space.

Argyll and Bute

Oban Phoenix Cinema has enjoyed great success since re-opening in 2012 and thanks to the award of £49,660 will be able to improve its facilities through the installation of digital projection equipment and the opening of a second screen.

Mull-based Comar is a creative hub in Argyll and Bute providing a wide range of arts activities for local people and presenting work nationally and internationally. Funding of £74,000 will help upgrade their premises, to include fitting out office space and installing a lift. A lodge will also be refurbished to create accommodation for visiting artists.

Western Isles

Arts centre An Lanntair on Stornoway, Isle of Lewis is home to the only cinema in the Western Isles. The award of £30,000 will go towards buying a digital projection system.


Dance House support the professional dance sector and offer a community development programme for people of all ages and abilities. The award of £8,000 will be used to develop their Glasgow premises by introducing private work spaces, improved reception area and up-to-date telephone system, creating a more efficient work environment which can better serve the wide range of people they work with.

Glasgow Film Theatre will be more accessible for visitors and staff through the installation of a lift to the upstairs gallery and the staff and volunteers’ hub and offices funded by the award of £53,500. This work will take place as part of GFT’s recently announced wider redevelopment programme.

David Dale Gallery and Studios presents a programme of contemporary visual art and facilities for artists and designers from its Glasgow premises. The award of £60,000 will be used on a range of improvements, including purchasing gallery and office equipment, the installation of central heating and double glazing, and furnishing the main foyer area.

Funding of £9,000 will be used to purchase equipment that will enable the Glasgow-based Scottish Music Centre to digitise music from its extensive collection and make it available online, and to enhance the quality and range of products and services it provides to the music industry and the general public.

The Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre’s plans to convert existing store areas at their Glasgow premises into a new studio space, the Depot – to be used for theatre, dance, mime, TV and recording – will be made possible through the award of £100,000.

Funding of £90,574 will help Glasgow Sculpture Studios expand their facilities by enhancing its existing Ceramics Suite and establishing a new Digital Production Lab. Among the uses for the new equipment will be to create a portal which will enable distance learning and access for groups who cannot use potentially hazardous sculptural processes, such as children and the mobility impaired.


The award of £11,366 will contribute towards installing and maintaining a new accessible communication system in the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s auditorium, for the benefit of hearing and sight impaired audiences, and audiences with specific learning and or communication needs.

Audiences and artists will benefit from a range of improvements to Artspace, a multi-purpose community venue in Craigmillar, Edinburgh. The funding from the award of £16,672 will be invested in new changing rooms, catering facilities and the installation of blinds so that the centre can be used as a more flexible performance space.

Funding of £10,135 means Screen Education Scotland can provide access to the latest in digital filmmaking equipment, facilities and training for around 250 aspiring filmmakers in Edinburgh, especially those living in economically deprived areas, to create new short films and documentaries.

The award of £74,805 will fund fitting-out works to make the new venue space for the Bongo Club (Edinburgh Central Library building) accessible, and for purchasing lighting and sound equipment.

The award of £12,375 will help Edinburgh-based Dunedin Consort, which specialises in performing and recording music of the baroque period, purchase a harpsichord produced by one of the leading contemporary makers of the instrument. The harpsichord will be used in their own productions and hired to other musicians.


1. Creative Scotland is the national development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.

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