Busy year ahead for Montrose Playhouse Project

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The group that plans to bring a cinema to Montrose say 2014 has been a busy year for them and 2015 will be busier as they focus on fund-raising.

The Montrose Playhouse Project hope to turn the former swimming pool on The Mall into a three-screen picture house.

David Paton, chairman, said: “2014 has been a busy year for our Playhouse Project committee, and our efforts have seen considerable progress in our plans to bring a cinema and cultural arts centre to Montrose.

“In the first part of the year we were awarded grants from Firstport, Angus Council and the Big Lottery,

Investing in Ideas fund and thanks to this we were able to appoint Ron Inglis, a specialist cinema consultant to prepare our initial business plan and feasibility study.

“We achieved charitable status in April and as the year progressed, we successfully passed the first stage of the Council’s Community Asset Transfer process and completed our market research project. This has confirmed the support that we have for a facility like this from the population of the town and surrounding areas. This information is needed for our business plans and also for our applications to big funders, such as Big Lottery and Creative Scotland, which will be submitted in early 2015.

“Our application for full planning permission to redevelop the old swimming pool on The Mall was also successfully granted.

“Support from the local community for the project has been overwhelming and our Facebook page has now almost reached 4,000 likes, which is incredible for a facility which is yet to open.

“Most notably in 2014, Lynn McComiskie, proprietor of Next to You lingerie shop in Murray Street, swam across the chilly waters of Loch Lomond and raised a whopping £2,835 for the project and created a huge buzz for us within the town.

“Lynn and fellow shop proprietor Yvonne Thow of Chique ladieswear, in John Street, have also generously decided to donate their carrier bag tax to the project.

“Now that the year is drawing to a close we are finalising the second part of the Community Asset Transfer application and looking ahead to 2015. It is going to be another hectic year for us right from the outset and our main focus will be on big fund-raising to bring the project to fruition.

“We are keen to grow our team and are particularly interested in developing our web presence and social media activity. Please check out our new website at www.montroseplayhouse.co.uk if you have not already done so and if you are keen to help us, please do not hesitate to get in touch either through the contacts on our website or the Facebook page.

“We will be present at more events over the course of 2015, the first of which is the Montrose Wedding Fayre on Sunday, January 25 in The Park Hotel, John Street. The organisers of this event have kindly offered to donate the proceeds to the Playhouse Project for which we are very grateful. We hope to see some of you there.

“Happy New Year from the Playhouse Team.”