Theatre redevelopment project to benefit from Barrack Charitable Trust funding

James Barrack presenting a cheque to Fiona Gibson, CEO of Capital Theatres

THE Barrack Charitable Trust is donating £45,000 to a range of charitable organisations across Scotland.

Established in 2009 by Knight Property Group founder and chairman James Barrack, the aim is to help organisations cope with the decrease in charitable donations for specific projects due to the economic climate faced at the time. The Trust is solely supported by Knight Property Group.

Major beneficiaries from the latest tranche of donations include the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, which has received £15,000 to support a major redevelopment project, which includes improvements to the performance and backstage areas, a new learning and education studio, an overhaul to existing bars and foyers, and the addition of a new café and bar.

James Barrack presented a cheque to Fiona Gibson, CEO, of Capital Theatres, which runs the King’s Theatre. Fiona Gibson said, “We are so grateful for The Barrack Trust’s generous donation to the transformational redevelopment of the King’s Theatre. The trust’s charitable purposes align perfectly with our project; a newly reinvigorated King’s will preserve the history and heritage of this jewel of a building while making it a world class venue, able to host bigger and more spectacular shows for the people of Edinburgh and Scotland; it will become a thriving community hub with a fully accessible café and creative engagement studio by day; and a beautiful inclusive and accessible performance space by night through extensive improvements to access both backstage and front of house, ensuring that audiences and performers alike can experience the magic of the King’s.”

James Barrack added, “The King’s has a unique place in Edinburgh’s cultural heart and it is a building of significant architectural importance. We are delighted to support the plans to modernise and transform the theatre and bring it into the 21st century, to be enjoyed by future generations to come.”

Other charities being supported include Riding for the Disabled in Inverness, Aberdeen Independent Multiple Sclerosis (AIMS) and Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow

The Highland branch of Riding for the Disabled has received £2,500 to help develop a new centre. Chairman Robin Pape said, “Highland Group RDA is a charity that enriches the lives of children and adults with physical and learning disabilities and autism through contact with horses. Our activities can help to transform lives of our participants as they learn important life skills and experience the therapeutic nature of the horse both on the ground and in the saddle.

“We were delighted to receive a donation from The Barrack Charitable Trust. As a charity we can only carry out our life-changing activities thanks to the generosity of our donors, the dedication of our volunteers, and the good nature of our fantastic horses. This kind donation will go towards our new independent centre, and help to provide a safe, undercover area for horse care.”

Aberdeen Independent Multiple Sclerosis (AIMS) was awarded £2,500 to assist with the delivery of online exercise classes. Chairperson Ian Gourlay said, “The charity would be unable to provide its wide range of services without the generosity of grant funders such as the Barrack Charitable Trust, who cover the shortfall between our expenditure for session leaders and the income generated. Most people with multiple sclerosis have a progressive, terminal condition and need to keep their muscles active or they will lose the use of them over time. With many of our disabled people on fixed incomes, their incomes are currently being squeezed. This donation provided by The Barrack Charitable Trust has enabled activity participants to remain ‘by donation’ rather than a fixed charge per session and we are extremely grateful.”

Commenting on the charitable funding from the Trust, James Barrack added, “As always, it was a difficult decision, but we feel proud to be able to support such a wide range of worthwhile charities across Scotland.”