Harry Potter author JK Rowling is to inject some magic into a Perthshire community venture.
The Edinburgh-based writer has backed ambitious plans to turn Aberfeldy town hall into a music and drama venue.
The facility’s management team confirmed that Rowling, who has a home near the town, had made a “generous” donation to the £1.5 million project but declined to say how much she had given.
Ian Menzies, of Locus Breadalbane, said: “It’s going to be a wonderful resource for the community it’s what we’ve been working toward over the last few years after buying it from the council. We are now bringing it into the 21st century and are fundraising for that.
“The refurbishment of the B-listed building will cost £1.5 million but we had a generous donation from JK Rowling. We are not allowed to say how much it is.”
A spokeswoman for JK Rowling confirmed she had made a donation to the project but declined to comment further.
The building was handed over to Aberfeldy residents in May following a five-year campaign to bring it into community ownership. The SSE Griffin and Calliacher Community Fund provided £75,000 to buy the hall after Perth and Kinross Council deemed it surplus to requirements.
Locus Breadalbane has submitted a planning application to Perth and Kinross Council which would see the space transformed into a 182-seat venue.
Documents presented to council planning department show that two existing flats in the building will be ripped out and the space used to house a lesser hall, kitchen, green room and toilet facilities.
External sheds and an older extension will be demolished, with two new building enlargements being made.
Ian added: “The redevelopment of the hall improving the heating, lighting, insulation and sound will also include enhanced facilities for all the groups who currently support it, whilst providing additional facilities for nursery and youth groups.
“Local fundraising is proving successful, the recent thrift shop raised £1300, with continuing support from the community and town hall user groups looking to arrange their own functions in the hall in order to raise funds.
“This and local area support will be an important aspect of the funding process The next fundraising event will be a silent auction on September 20 within the town hall.”
A council spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that an application for listed building consent has been submitted for works at Aberfeldy Town Hall. The application will be considered in due course along with the associated planning application.”