Final Big Struggle to Keep the Doors of Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre Open

Following an unsuccessful bid by the City of Edinburgh Council to the UK Government’s Levelling Up, that would have been a crucial contribution towards the funding gap for the King’s Redevelopment, the Capital’s well-loved theatre now has just 35 days to reach its target to save it from closure.

As reported at the end of August 2022, when the King’s Theatre closed in preparation for its transformational redevelopment, a funding gap has placed the King’s future in peril. £26 million has been successfully fundraised by Capital Theatres, but inflation, global conflict and changing trading agreements means that the project will cost an estimated £8.9m more.

If this money is not found before the building is due to be signed over to the contractors in 35 days, the project won’t be on track and costs will spiral. The King’s could close its doors forever and the city will lose an essential venue and a vital cultural hub for its communities.

Funding from public bodies and generous donations have helped to get the project this far but  now need increased support from statutory funders – the  Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the UK Government –  to see  it over the line.

If the money is not found, Capital Theatres will have to hand the keys back to City of Edinburgh Council who own the Grade A listed building.

The King’s is vital for the UK’s and Scotland’s cultural ecology and is an important heritage community asset that brings significant social and economic benefits to Scotland’s capital city and beyond.

Long-term attender Charlotte Fabien said I am one hundred years old and have always come to the King’s, now please support the King’s so the next generation can enjoy it as well.”

CEO of Capital Theatres Fiona Gibson said “This really is the last chance saloon for the King’s.

It’s been a long road planning and fundraising for the capital redevelopment of the King’s Theatre to turn it into both a thriving community hub, fully accessible to audiences and performers, and a world class venue, while maintaining its history and heritage. … We are incredibly proud of the collective effort to reach this figure.

However, as with all construction projects in the UK currently, we are facing new challenges because of delays in supply chain caused by changing trading agreements, global conflict and increasing levels of inflation. Due to these factors, it has emerged in the last few months that the project costs will increase by an estimated £8.9m. We’ve examined our options and we cannot reduce the project cost any further by value engineering and to delay the redevelopment could lead to even higher costs in the long-term, putting the entire project at risk. If the money is not found in the next few weeks, the last opportunity for us to greenlight the project, the King’s could close its doors forever…”

Capital Theatres is incredibly grateful for all the support received so far from so many generous supporters. Anyone can write to their MP, MSPs and City of Edinburgh Councillors telling them why they love the King’s and call for this wonderful theatre to be saved.

Irene Brown

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