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Eden Court boss 'relieved' and 'grateful' for £750,000 funding for Inverness theatre

By Margaret Chrystall

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EDEN Court’s chief executive James Mackenzie Blackman says he is “relieved” and “grateful” for the new £750,000 investment from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland.

He said: “This investment from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland indicates the vital role Eden Court plays in the creative and cultural life of the Highlands.

“We are relieved and grateful.

“Over the coming weeks we will share more on how we will use the funds to stabilise the organisation, reimagine our business model and provide opportunities for freelance and independent artists.”

James Mackenzie-Blackman talks about new funding boost.
James Mackenzie-Blackman talks about new funding boost.

The theatre is amongst 20 Scottish venues to have received support from the first strand of the Scottish Government’s £12.5m Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, through Creative Scotland.

Designed to support performing arts venues that cannot yet re-open due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund is helping to – remove the threat of insolvency prior to the end of March 2021 to enable the development and delivery of activity as soon as practicable; allow for specialist / core staff to return from furlough or avoid redundancy to work on future sustainable activity plans; increase commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners (between now and end of March 2021) to support continued public engagement while closed.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Theatres and performing arts venues are vital to individuals, communities and our country.

“Our performing arts venues effectively had to close overnight, with an almost complete loss of income. There is no doubt that in doing so they saved lives, and for that I am extremely grateful.

“We know the impact of this crisis will be long-term so ambitious action to support the future of these organisations, as well as our wider cultural infrastructure, is key.

“This funding will be a vital lifeline to help performing arts venues continue to weather the storm.”

Of the money, Eden Court chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman said earlier: "We can now set about moving from survival to recovery with the help of our colleagues, audiences, participants and artists – those we know and those we don’t.

"They made us what we are, and what we can be, and they will have a role in how we reimagine Eden Court."

Recipients of a second strand of the Performing Arts Venues Fund, an open fund of £5million, will be announced in due course.

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