Scotland’s First Minister, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, visits the site of Inverclyde’s new art centre at Greenock waterfront as construction work gets underway.
The Arts Centre demonstrates what can be achieved when you mix a historic location with a deep sense of need in an area with historically high levels of deprivation. It is a classic example of what happens when people, community and entrepreneurs are put in the driving seat of change.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“I am honoured to be cutting the first sod of such an inspiring project that will not only provide a modern facility for the people of Inverclyde, but will also help drive forward regeneration throughout the region.
”This promises to be one of the finest theatres of its kind and through the youth theatre and education elements of the programme, offers young people an opportunity to build their self-esteem and skills.
“The Guild has an impressive track record of delivering high quality arts activities in Inverclyde. Thanks in part to considerable Scottish Government support, the stage is set for this stunning vision to be turned into reality.”
The project is jointly funded by Greenock Arts Guild and its project partners Creative Scotland, Inverclyde Council, Riverside Inverclyde and Big Lottery Fund.
Greenock Arts Guild Chairman, Elliott McKelvie welcomed the First Minister’s visit, saying:
“We are delighted to have the First Minister launch the construction phase of our exciting project. Within 18 months, Inverclyde will have one of the best arts centres in the UK, offering a diverse range of performance as well as being a social hub at the heart of the community.”
Regeneration Convener Councillor Jim Clocherty added:
“The Council is one of the key investors in the new Arts Guild and I am pleased that the project has been given the support of the First Minister. I would like to welcome him to Inverclyde where I am sure he will be equally impressed to hear about the other exciting regeneration projects underway in the area. We have committed £2.5 million to the Arts Guild and once completed it will be at the centre of a transformed waterfront and at the heart of our community.”
Bill Nicol, Chief Executive of Riverside Inverclyde said of the project:
“Riverside Inverclyde has worked hard in support of the new arts theatre and was instrumental in working alongside Inverclyde Council and the Arts Guild to secure the site at the East India Harbour. It’s great to see the First Minister on site and it’s also fantastic that the construction of the Theatre will be underway in advance of the Tall Ships event in 2011. A new theatre will greatly improve the attraction of the waterfront area and secure the Greenock Arts Guild’s ambitious plans for the arts in the west of Scotland”
Also in attendance is one of Scotland’s great treasures, actress, comedienne and entertainer Dorothy Paul who is an active supporter of theatre and the arts and joins Inverclyde in welcoming the start of this exciting build.
The new arts centre will build on the impressive track record of Greenock Arts Guild which has been successfully delivering high quality arts in Inverclyde for 60 years. It will be sited on a prime location of a former dockyard in Greenock, adjacent to the historic Georgian Custom House, with superb views over the River Clyde. The new building will form part of the wider regeneration of former industrial land along the Inverclyde waterfront.
The centre will house a 500 seat main auditorium together with a 130 seat studio theatre, rehearsal rooms and a riverside café / bar with outstanding views over the Clyde.
The total project cost is £9.3million.
Photograph used with kind permission of inverclydenow.com.