Second act for historic theatre?

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Cumbernauld Theatre will have a new owner if a determined bunch of volunteers get their way - and that owner will be the community itself.

Cumbernauld Cottage Trust believes 2020 is the year it will take ownership of the freshly vacated building - buoyed by a community asset transfer bid.

Discussions to create a brand new hub for Cumbernauld are currently underway with North Lanarkshire Council which is the current owner of the well-loved venue.

Cumbernauld Theatre operated in that space for the last 50 years but an expanded version of the facility is set to open at Cumbernauld Academy in the autumn - meaning the building is simply lying in a disused state.

Yet many in Cumbernauld and beyond strongly believe that the former farming cottage has a very promising future.

And the wheels are already in motion to make the dream a reality thanks to the intervention of trust volunteers who last year commissioned experts to help them to this end.

Independent consultants helped draw up a feasibility study which drew responses from as far away as Australia and the United States - and are currently working on a condition survey of the building.

And chairman of The Cottage Trust, Adam Smith, believes the Cumbernauld public is already on board with the project.

Mr Smith said: “As well as showing just how much the cottages building means to people, the feasibility study has helped the group in formulating its plans for the new community resource.

“Nothing has yet been finalised but it is likely that the community hub will offer a bar/café facility for local people alongside facilities to hire for local groups and activities, functions and projects.

“We’re hoping that there might be a local organisation, or small business interested in taking space in the building on a long-term lease.

“The cottage community hub has to be sustainable in financial terms.

“It’s an exciting project and we’d love to hear from anyone in the local area who’d like to discuss involvement .

“You can contact us via our Facebook page or by email at cumbernauld”

Meanwhile, there has been a fresh development involving the future of the new building on the academy campus

For it emerged this week that the man who has headed up Cumbernauld Theatre for well over a decade has left the operation.

The theatre has announced that artistic director Ed Robson bowed out as the old building closed in December and that the theatre’s executive director Sarah Price will take over as its CEO in the meantime.

For more on this story see this week’s edition of the Cumbernauld News - out today.