Entertainment

Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre has been saved from a looming final curtain call following a cash boost from the city council and Scottish government for its redevelopment.

Capital Theatres, the charity that runs the council-owned venue, launched a campaign last month after failing to secure support from the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Bosses said they had just 35 days to save the venue due to a £8.9m funding gap caused by soaring inflation, global conflict and changing trading agreements.

The City of Edinburgh Council has now pledged £3m more towards the project and the Scottish government has increased its investment by £3.85m. An additional £350,000 has been fundraised since January.

The charity previously raised £26.7m to support the century-old theatre.

The remaining £1.7m shortfall is expected to be raised throughout the life of the redevelopment.

The King’s Theatre – where Sir Sean Connery once worked backstage – welcomes more than 430,000 audience members each year to around 700 performances, which includes touring shows, live music, drama, comedy and pantomime.

The restoration work will include improvements to the performance and backstage areas, a new learning and participation studio, and a new street-level cafe and bar.

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Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres, said the “generous additional investment” will allow the construction works to begin as planned.

She added: “We are immensely grateful to the many people who have supported us on this challenging journey – we could not have come this far without you.”

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Culture Minister Neil Gray added: “Edinburgh’s reputation as a cultural and creative hub is renowned the world over and theatres like King’s play a key role in sustaining this.

“This additional £3.85m funding from the Scottish government will ensure this iconic theatre can undertake vital redevelopment and reopen for many more generations to experience the joy of the theatre.

“The Scottish government has provided a total of £10.35m in funding for the King’s Theatre and this is testament to the value we place on the importance of its redevelopment and its future potential in supporting the arts, employment and community engagement.”

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