Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre has announced it has 30 days to secure millions in funding or risk closing its doors.
There is an £8.9m gap in the theatre’s funding for redevelopment, with inflation and changing trade agreements cited as reasons for the shortcoming.
£26m has already been raised for the King’s Theatre redevelopment plans, but it’s no longer enough to complete the project.
Capital Theatres, the charity which runs the King’s Theatre, said the £8.9m gap needed to be filled in the next 30 days “in time to sign over the building to the contractors, stay on track with the project and avoid spiralling costs.”
Capital Theatres says they are now working with the Scottish government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the UK government to raise funds.
Fiona Gibson, chief executive of Capital Theatres, described the situation as a “last chance saloon for the King’s.”
Should the £8.9m not be found, the redevelopment of the 100-year-old theatre will not be able to continue, and Capital Theatres would have to return the keys to the council, which owns the building.
“As with all construction projects in the UK currently, we are facing new challenges because of delays in the supply chain caused by changing trading agreements, global conflict and increasing levels of inflation,” Gibson said. “Due to these factors, it has emerged in the last few months that the project costs will increase by an estimated £8.9m.
“We’ve examined our options and cannot reduce the project cost any further by value engineering. Delaying the redevelopment could lead to even higher costs in the long term, putting the entire project at risk.
“If the money is not found in the next few weeks, the last opportunity for us to greenlight the project, the King’s could close its doors forever.”
Actor Brian Cox is an honorary patron of the King’s Theatre. He said: “The King’s is vital to the Scottish theatre ecology and a key touring venue which brings a variety of genres to the central belt, not to mention a source of comfort and joy in panto season.”
The news of the King’s Theatre’s troubles comes soon after Edinburgh City Council’s unsuccessful bid to the UK government’s Levelling Up fund.