Montrose Playhouse has hit another key milestone with the appointment of a main contractor to turn the town’s former swimming pool into a multi-million pound community cinema.
North east-based Bancon Construction Ltd will carry out the works on The Mall building to create a three-screen cinema and community arts centre in the volunteer-led project which it is hoped will be open in early 2021.
As part of the Playhouse contract, the Banchory firm will be taking on three local apprentices to add to the eight staff they already have from Montrose and Angus within their 90-strong workforce.
Bancon Construction managing director Gavin Currie said: “Montrose Playhouse Project is an exciting community initiative for the benefit of local people and we are honoured to have been awarded the contract to redevelop the building into an arts and education hub.
“MPP has been working hard on stripping out the building to get it ready for conversion. Our scope of work includes creating a three-screen cinema, education and exhibition spaces, a retail space and café bar.
“We have considerable experience of working with old buildings, such as our current work transforming Aberdeen Science Centre, which was once a tram shed, into a centre fit for the 21st century.
“The team is very much looking forward to getting started on the project and carrying out this transformational work to create a lasting facility for the community in Montrose.”
The Playhouse team has also announced the first business sponsors for the project in Montrose Rope & Sail, Specsavers Montrose and Scott Alexander Solicitors.
The charity has now secured a large proportion of capital project funding required by Angus Council, including £2.26m from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund in a working partnership with the local authority and £98,742 from Screen Scotland’s Cinema Equipment Fund.
More than £60,000 has been raised through a crowdfunding reward scheme and business sponsorship so far.
Playhouse chairman David Paton said: “We are delighted to be able to finally announce the contractor as we are aware that the public has been wondering what is going on behind the big metal doors.
“After almost seven years of hard work and determination we are grateful to all of the people and local businesses who have supported and who continue to support us.
“The fundraising is however far from over and announcements are awaited from Big Lottery and other grant funders. We also hope to raise at least a further £150,000 from our crowdfunding and business sponsorship.”
Crowdfunding options include red carpet opening night tickets and sponsored cinema seats with details available at www.montroseplayhouse.co.uk