Abandoned church could be transformed into cinema

Ayr's answer to the Glasgow Film Theatre in the pipeline after funding granted.

Abandoned church could be transformed into cinema Pixabay

An abandoned church could be transformed into a cinema.

Ross Hunter is planning to convert the Darlington Church into Ayr’s answer to the Glasgow Film Theatre. 

The director of the Iris arts venue has secured £20,000 from South Ayrshire Council for the project. 

He also has the backing of Regional Screen Scotland – and is ready to kick off building work after lockdown. 

Mr Hunter said: “We found the building in a bad state of repair. It has not been used for ten years.

“Once lockdown stops we can continue with our construction work. We are hoping to use the cinema to galvanise the town.”

Mr Hunter and his partner Kelly Craig are working to turn the 1860-built place of worship into a community arts venue – which would also host theatre and live music. 

The building will be accessible as well as offering a cafe bar and community space.

There will also be the chance for creative people and students to demonstrate their work. 

A mobile cinema, which could show films in arts and community centres is also part of the plan. 

Mr Hunter, 31, said: “Regional Screen Scotland have noticed a gap in cinema provision in South Ayrshire for some time.”

South Ayrshire Council has provided cash for the venue from its £1.06m Scottish Government Town Centre Fund.

It said in a report: “The property is in a poor condition and in order to bring it back into beneficial occupation considerable investment is required.”

The church is listed in the Buildings At Risk Register for Scotland. 

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