Glasgow & West Scotland

Lloyd Webber charity backs Inverclyde youth theatre

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Image caption The Andrew Lloyd Webber foundation is backing the new Beacon Arts Centre

One of the world's most successful composers is backing a Scottish theatre project to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's foundation has given a £100,000 grant to the Beacon Arts Centre, which is currently under construction on Greenock waterfront.

When the Beacon opens next year, the cash will fund a youth theatre to encourage participation in the arts.

The building will have a 500-seat main auditorium and 130-seat studio theatre.

Rehearsal rooms and a cafe bar overlooking the River Clyde will also be part of the £9.5m theatre.

When it opens next summer, the Beacon will replace the existing Greenock Arts Guild Theatre, which has served the Inverclyde area for 60 years.

'Pivotal project'

Greenock Arts Guild has raised more than £9m during the past seven years for the construction, which got under way in November last year.

Guild chairman Elliott McKelvie said: "We are delighted that The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation shares our vision of the important role which the arts and arts-education can play in helping to improve people's lives.

"The Beacon Arts Centre is a pivotal project for an area which is not short of social challenges.

"This substantial award will assist enormously, by making it possible for us to offer the young people of our community an opportunity to take part in theatre, music and dance.

"Inverclyde will soon have an arts centre equipped for 21st Century demands and The Beacon will be a flagship for the arts in Scotland."

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