Glasgow & West Scotland

Lottery cash boost for historic Picture House in Campbeltown

Campbeltown Picture House Image copyright Gary Sutherland
Image caption The art deco Campbeltown Picture House closed in the summer

Plans to reopen one of Europe's most historic cinemas have taken a huge step forward after the award of a large lottery grant.

The Picture House in Campbeltown is to receive £1.1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The art deco cinema closed in the summer but it is hoped it will reopen in 2016 after a massive refurbishment.

Campbeltown Community Business, which runs the cinema, said it was "thrilled" by the lottery money.

The grant means the charity is now around two-thirds of the way towards its fundraising target.

It had already secured money from Creative Scotland, Historic Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council, as well as various trusts, foundations and corporate donors.

The A-listed cinema on Campbeltown's waterfront opened in 1913.

For many years, it described itself as the "oldest continuously-run purpose-built cinema in Scotland".

The cinema in Bo'ness is older but was closed for many years.

Second auditorium

The Picture House closed its doors in August so the community business could focus its efforts on raising money for the refurbishment and modernisation of the building, which is in need of repair.

The charity's plans include the building of a small, second auditorium to allow a wider range of films to be shown, along with a cafe and an exhibition area.

The redevelopment of The Picture House comes alongside the wider redevelopment of the Campbeltown area which has suffered years of economic and physical decline.

Two derelict hotels were brought back to life as luxury hotels, while a second golf course at Machrihanish has also been opened.

Work is getting under way on a full restoration of the 18th Century town hall which has been taken over by the local community.

A seasonal ferry service from Campbeltown to Ardrossan is also being tried out. Next summer will be the final year of the three-year trial before decisions are taken on the service's future.

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