A’ The Airts, a community arts Centre with charitable status, has nearly doubled in size thanks to a grant funded extension project. The building works have taken place over the past fourteen months and now the Centre is back to welcome locals and visitors with open arms to enjoy its enhanced facilities.
Established in 2010 by Upper Nithsdale Arts and Crafts Community Initiative (UNACCI), it has always been a dream to grow the service offer to the community and visitors following the purchase of an adjacent, dilapidated property that was purchased several years ago via Scottish Land Funding. However, funds were needed to make those changes a reality. Funding from Scottish Government, Dumfries and Galloway Council and the Hollywood Trust have enabled the work to be completed.
Centre Manager, Yvonne Barber said; ‘It is a very exciting time for us and the Upper Nithsdale community. What we had prior was effective, but limited in view of the number of people we could support. Now we have much more space to increase customers in our café and shop, develop and deliver workshops and activities, enable larger performances and exhibitions to take place, and ensure people of Upper Nithsdale have a base to enjoy, relax, partake, learn new skills, explore their creative side, and socialise’.
The enhancements made include; a dedicated gallery for local artists to exhibit, an upgraded fifty seat bespoke theatre/cinema area for performances and film showings, a state-of-the-art digital media suite, two craft rooms, a new upstairs hospitality area, an expanded arts and crafts shop where local people can sell their crafts and art, a new Sanquhar Pattern knitting facility, and a larger café at the back of the building leading out to an alfresco area and landscaped garden.
Chair of UNACCI, William Waugh said; ‘We are so appreciative of all our funders for supporting the vision of expansion for A’ The Airts. Over recent years, it has proved itself to be a well-regarded and important part of our High Street. Now we can offer even more to the community and our plans ensure there will be something for everyone in the months and years ahead’
The Centre’s core hours are Mon to Sat, 10am till 4pm with additional evening openings based on programme of events. If you would like more information please email [email protected], or ring 01659 50514. Alternatively, you can find A’ The Airts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.