Shaping the future of Leith Theatre

Shaping the future of Leith Theatre
City Council of Edinburgh

Outline plans to lease the Leith Theatre and Thomas Morton Hall complex in Ferry Road to the Leith Theatre Trust (LTT) are to be considered by the Council’s Culture and Leisure Committee next week.

The Trust’s vision for the facility is to develop it as a cultural hub, creating a place where people of different ages and backgrounds can enjoy a range of cultural experiences and events. The Trust’s proposal document explains their aspiration of creating "a mixed-use community-based social enterprise with an emphasis on visual and performance arts in particular".

Under the proposals developed by the LTT, the Council will be asked to consider granting an initial, short-term lease of the complex for five years, during which period the Trust will develop capital re-development plans and undertake the required fundraising.

Provided terms and conditions are successfully concluded, a lease to LTT could start in early 2013. The first phase of the Trust’s cultural hub proposals would comprise re-development of part of the Theatre by the neighbouring Leith School of Art.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convener, said: "Breathing new life into Leith Theatre has long been a shared ambition for both the community and the Council. These proposals developed by the LTT are the biggest step forward for the Theatre in many years and would restore the complex to community and arts use."

Philip Neaves, Chair of the Leith Theatre Trust, said: "The Trust is delighted to see its proposals being put before the Culture and Leisure Committee. This represents significant progress for us and will allow us to raise substantial grant funding to start to restore the building and maximise the potential for its use as an arts, community and education venue."