6 January 2012
As the end of January deadline for completing the marathon fundraising effort to revive the Birks cinema in Aberfeldy approaches, the Friends of the Birks campaign has received a hugely significant boost of £100,000 from the Scottish Hydro Griffin wind farm community fund.
The group has now raised nearly 80% of the £1.8m needed to fund the cinema rebuild and modernisation, and to deliver on the vision of a nnew hub to 'complete the triangle' of arts and culture for the whole of Highland Perthshire alongside the Birnam Arts Centre and the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
A last big push is now underway to raise the remaining funds by the end of the month - with a number of additional funding applications to various trusts including the Volant Trust and Balcraig Foundation. A final direct mail appeal to members of the public is set to go out next week, and a large number of final appeals have been made to various corporations, local businesses and individuals.
The group reports 'fantastic' support from the local community and from further afield, has increased its membership by over 50% to 420 members, has held successful local events and has raised over £100,000 from local community fundraising and locally sourced grants in the last few months. The sale of 'sponsored seats' has also doubled to 26 and FOBC will report on some significant seat sponsorship in due course.
Charlotte Flower, Chairperson of the Friends of the Birks Cinema charity, said: “We are delighted to learn that our application to the Scottish Hydro Griffin Community Fund has been successful. A significant award such as this will play a very important part in meeting our target at the end of January to secure the match funding awarded in June 2010 from Scotland’s Rural Development Program. Our plans to revive the Birks building into a state-of-the-art modern cinema continue and we hope to provide residents and visitors with a first class facility to be proud of. Our vision of a new hub to 'complete the triangle' for arts and culture in the heart of Perthshire, alongside Pitlochry's Festival Theatre and Birnam's Arts Centre is getting closer all the time.”
Scottish Hydro, the Perth based utility company, which owns and operates the 68 turbine Griffin wind farm located near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, will pay around £320,000 per annum into the fund for the 25 year lifespan of the wind farm. It is expected that the total value of the fund will be in excess of £8 million.
Tony Scott, project manager for the construction of the Griffin wind farm, said: “As construction at Griffin comes to an end it’s really exciting to see the Griffin community fund being used for a local project that so many people could benefit from.”
Grant-making charity the Scottish Community Foundation, processes grant applications from constituted community groups, not-for-profit organisations and registered charities. An advisory panel - made up of local residents and representatives from the Community Council areas - meets up to four times a year to decide how grants are to be awarded.
For more information on the Birks Cinema campaign go to: www.birkscinemafriends.org.uk
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