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Support swells for performance facility

New funding brings Creation Centre a step closer

Briggait Centre 1

Most of the funds have been secured for Scotland’s first Creation Centre, providing a base for dance, street theatre and circus-style performances.

Pledges in the last month totalling £2.6 million include a £1.006m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £1m from Creative Scotland and £622,000 from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. Glasgow City Council had already promised £1m.

The £4.9m Briggait Creation Centre project, led by Wasps Artists’ Studios, will also complete the regeneration of the Briggait, a historic Grade A-listed Victorian and Edwardian market complex in the city’s medieval Merchant City.

Once operational it will be a hub for 600 professional artists, physical performers and dancers and home to five arts organisations – Dance House Glasgow, Conflux, Indepen-dance, Aerial Edge and YDance. Each has diverse skills and expertise and an international network of contacts.

Audrey Carlin, Wasps senior executive director for business development, said: “To have these three grants confirmed in the last month is tremendous – it takes us a giant stride towards giving Scotland a fabulous new centre for physical performance and dance.

“Scotland has so much potential and the Briggait Creation Centre will let us develop talented young performance artists, nurturing their skills at every level from beginners through to international stars. It could help transform the cultural landscape in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Our supporters have been fantastic, there’s a real sense of excitement about the opportunities this project will bring. We now have to identify the remaining 25% of the funds needed to make the centre a reality – hopefully, it’s one last push and we’re there.”

Briggait Centre 2Creation Centres are relatively common in Europe but not the UK. They are spaces for multi-disciplinary art making, often focusing on outdoor performance but mixing visual art, performance, circus and other art forms. The BCC will offer unprecedented opportunities for participation and training in dance, street arts, physical theatre, circus and visual arts.

Once complete there will be:

·       Five dance/physical performance studios from 1,200 sqft to 5,000 sqft

·       Scotland’s first dedicated workspace for physical performance

·       Scotland’s first space specially equipped for flying trapeze

·       A new public dance facility for Glasgow

·       Exemplar inclusive studio and changing facilities for disabled users

·       A social enterprise café

·       Facilities for 12,000 participants to improve their health and wellbeing

·       100,000 visitors per year to the Briggait

·       An inclusive dance studio with hoist and tracking systems and a registered ‘Changing Places’ toilet for disabled people.

The BCC will be part of the community and will allow artists to develop work with and for the public as well as creating new arts and performance-based jobs.

The Briggait was built in several stages between 1873 and 1904, and embraces a 17th century stone tower. It has Scotland’s oldest surviving collection of market halls.

There will be many activities for schools and the local community to become involved with at the BCC including researching the history of performance in the area, compiling an archive photographic exhibition, developing heritage walks and tours and learning traditional construction skills through traineeships.

Vizualedinburgh Art in the DB ShopLucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We have already seen what can be done at the Briggait with National Lottery funding so are delighted to continue our support with the transformation of these old market halls.

“The building, with its 350-year old steeple, is a beacon of the Merchant City’s heritage. Our funding will help it thrive in a way that is sustainable and relevant to today and to the community it serves.”

Philip Deverell, Director, Strategy at Creative Scotland said: “The Briggait Creation Centre will be the largest of its kind in Scotland.

“The development will reinvigorate the wider Briggait complex and make it a genuinely public facing building, breathe life into the Clyde Waterfront in the heart of Glasgow, and inspire people of all ages to engage in physical activity and creative performance.”

Part of the Briggait has already been regenerated. It is also the HQ for Wasps, Scotland’s largest creative community, which provides affordable spaces for artists, makers and other creatives at its centres from Shetland to the Borders.

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