The project has seen the transformation of a derelict council run swimming pool in the Town Centre of Montrose into a community hub for arts and education benefitting north Angus and lower Aberdeenshire. The Playhouse includes an adaptable three screen cinema, education and exhibition spaces, retail space and café bar. This is a community focused project run by local volunteers under the charity Montrose Playhouse Project SCIO.
What began as a simple regeneration idea for a community cinema has developed, through market research and community consultation into a plan for a multi-dimensional facility which will act as an engine for social change in our community. From the outset, community support has been strong. The proposal mirrors Angus Community Planning Partnership priorities by tackling inequalities, building services around people and communities, focusing on prevention and working together effectively. We now have almost 11,000 Facebook ‘likes’ in a town of 13,000.
The Playhouse committee have worked for almost 9 years to fund and realise this dream to bring a much needed cultural and art hub to the town of Montrose. Their drive and commitment has also been mimicked by the local community who pulled together to ensure this project happened through their own fundraising events, getting involved with our DIY SOS style strip out of the old building where we saved over £250,000 in man hours with the help of local people and businesses. They also bought into our crowdfunding options where we raised as additional £213,000 towards our total capital costs of £3.4million which was further funded through the Scottish Governments regeneration capital grant fund, Big Lottery, Screen Scotland and several others. The whole project has been a total community effort and the volunteer committee who now oversee a staff of around 30 people have went above and beyond to get the facility open. We are now 9 weeks into being operational and have seen a 6% lift on our operating budget and have sold over 16000 cinema tickets in that time frame alone. Our social development officer has also implemented seven social programmes which are now helping various groups in our community. The Playhouse was built by the community, For the community.
Gallery of images
Existing Swimming Pool External View
Existing Swimming Pool Internal View
Renovated Frontage External View
Screen 1 Internal View
Reel Cafe Bar Internal View