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Council invests £340,000 in Gaiety development activity

The Council is set to invest £340,000 in a new three-year programme of funding to help the Ayr Gaiety Partnership deliver existing cultural, skills and employment programmes to even more people across South Ayrshire.

This funding which starts from April 2018 puts The Gaiety in a much stronger position to help achieve the Council’s ambition of providing access to arts and culture for as many people as possible.

The funds will also help The Ayr Gaiety Partnership and South Ayrshire Council attract visitors to help boost the local economy which is another key objective.

Since taking ownership of The Gaiety in 2012, Ayr Gaiety Partnership has been working to deliver these ambitions. The Partnership has become Scotland’s first Learning Theatre in conjunction with University of the West of Scotland and Ayrshire College. There is now a centre of excellence for technical theatre training providing industry placements and employment opportunities for students.

The Gaiety’s ‘ACTout’ programme has supported over 1,000 people both young and old to date. Workshops have been delivered in Tarbolton, Mossblown, Coylton, Symington, Ayr, Prestwick, Kincaidston, Maybole, Minishant, Kirkmichael and Girvan with over 800 hours of drama training given on 31 different projects.

The Gaiety’s ‘Ayrshire Rural Touring Network’ is already actively connecting with communities across rural Ayrshire and aims to deliver over 100 shows over the next two years.

Councillor Brian McGinley, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder said: “We have a valued relationship with the Ayr Gaiety Partnership which we are keen to cement still further. Ayr Gaiety has generated nearly £2 million for the local economy thanks to its impact on town centre businesses, so it’s key to the continued regeneration of Ayr.

“The partnership has supported 40 people into employment and hundreds of people have attended their inspirational workshops. We are already working with the partnership to reach out to communities to limit social isolation and provide employment opportunities and this work can now be expanded.

“We will continue to work closely with The Ayr Gaiety Partnership so that they continue to deliver their successful development activities, within the context of the council's continually reducing funding settlements and increasing financial constraints"

Jeremy Wyatt, Chief Executive, Ayr Gaiety Partnership: “South Ayrshire Council’s investment has, and remains the foundation of our social enterprise, providing the core theatre operation and outreach activity. There has been tremendous cross-community, cross-party support and national recognition for what Ayr Gaiety Partnership have managed to achieve in just five years. We are delighted that South Ayrshire Council has committed further investment over the next three years”

Councillors also agreed to offer a loan of £650,000 over 5 years at 2.5% interest to the Ayr Gaiety Partnership if required.

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