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New performing arts centre and studio theatre planned for Dunfermline

An artist's impression of the redeveloped building
An artist's impression of the redeveloped building
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The Alhambra Theatre Trust in Dunfermline has lodged a planning application to create a new performing arts centre in the town.

If approved, the plans will create a permanent base for the Alhambra Stage and Dance School in a long-vacant building opposite the theatre.

Called the Ironmongers Studio, it is planned to include a 200-seat studio theatre and art house cinema, along with rehearsal rooms, an administration block and retail and restaurant space.

A spokesman for the Alhambra told The Stage that work on the phased development is intended to start in spring 2018, commencing with the suite of rehearsal rooms, however declined to reveal details of the project’s cost.

He said: "The project will be financed by Alhambra Theatre Trust, and there is an ongoing Creative Scotland application for elements of the final fit out.

"We see this as complementary to Dunfermline’s cultural offering. We believe the town is already punching above its weight compared to similar sized towns, and we believe that culture has a vital role to play in the regeneration of town centres."

According to a statement from the trust, the interior design and layout for the new studio theatre will be heavily influenced by Wilton’s Music Hall in London.

It said: "The new state-of-the-art performance space will be carefully woven into the original fabric of the building and retain the historical significance of a building that has played an important role in Dunfermline life for over 100 years. The aim is to create a versatile, striking and unique venue, which can be an attraction in its own right."

According to the trust, the new theatre will also provide opportunities for local groups to produce and perform a wide variety of works that are not suitable for the main stage of the 1,200-seat Alhambra or nearby Carnegie Hall.

Gavin Dickson, principal of the Alhambra Stage and Dance School, said: "The studios will provide us with unrivalled, dedicated dance and drama and voice facilities in Fife, and with the location, we are also able to give students access to the studio and main stage at the Alhambra Theatre for training, and incredible performance opportunities."

He added that having a permanent base for the school would enable it to expand its range of classes and to host full-time courses.

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