Primary school pupils from across Perth & Kinross got an inside look at the construction work ongoing at Perth Theatre in a special visit organised by Robertson Group.
Robertson Tayside, which is leading the £16.6million construction project, welcomed youngsters from nine schools: Kinnoull Primary School, Craigie Primary School, Viewlands Primary School, Goodlyburn Primary School, Tulloch Primary School, North Muirton Primary School, St Ninians Primary School, Balhousie Primary School and Our Lady’s Primary School.
Two pupils attended from each school with the youngsters given a tour of the theatre by senior project manager Craig Bulloch, during which they received an insight into the building and restoration process.
Gemma Nicoll, Group Community Development Manager, Robertson, said:
“We created the Robertson Reporters initiative to allow pupils to get an inside look at construction projects, and to help boost their communication skills by asking them to report back to their classmates.
“This will be our most in-depth Robertson Reporters project yet. It is a unique opportunity for the pupils, and with six visits planned over the life of the project they will be able to see the scale of work goes into a successful construction project, from start to finish.”
Perth & Kinross Council and Horsecross Arts – the creative organisation behind Perth Theatre and Perth Concert Hall – successfully lodged plans to restore the B-listed Edwardian theatre auditorium to its former glory, adding a new 200-capacity studio theatre designed for more intimate shows, live music and comedy events and for nurturing new and emerging talent.
Councillor Ian Miller, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council and Chair of the Perth Theatre Redevelopment Board, said:
“The Robertson Reporters scheme gives local school pupils a unique insight into the redevelopment of one of the City of Perth’s iconic buildings.
“Not only do they get a behind the scenes tour of the transformation of this key landmark, but they also get to see first-hand the many skilled professionals involved in a project of this kind, helping to open their eyes to potential opportunities in the world of work.
“I’m very glad to see Robertson Group offering this opportunity to young people.”
The newly transformed venue, which is due to be completed by 2017, will have increased workshop spaces for community education and outreach projects, including the thriving Perth Youth Theatre which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016.
The High Street entrance to the building owned by the Council and operated by Horsecross Arts will be retained, with a new frontage created on Mill Street, improving access and facilities for visitors.
Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of Horsecross Arts said:
“Creative learning is at the heart of what we do at Horsecross Arts, and the newly redeveloped and restored theatre will feature dedicated spaces for our growing numbers of community participants.
“It is great to see our construction partners at Robertson Tayside getting local schoolchildren involved in the project. They are our future audiences, staff-members, performers and theatre supporters and we look forward to seeing them on site regularly as the transformation of Perth Theatre continues.”