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Funding Awarded: We are Buying the Broadway!

BREAKING NEWS: We are buying the Broadway!!!

We are delighted to announce that our application to the Scottish Land Fund has been officially accepted, and we have been awarded the funding to purchase the Broadway Cinema. It gets better. We have also been awarded an additional £50,000 to undertake immediate essential maintenance, and further funds to support a full-time paid Project Development Officer to help drive the project forward.

Together, as a community, we have done it. The Broadway is coming back!

The Scottish Land Fund has awarded us the majority of the purchase price, with building owners, Buzzworks Group, contributing a significant six figure discount to enable it to pass into community ownership. We would like to acknowledge the tremendous support and encouragement we have received from the owner, Colin Blair. In the world of community cinema projects, the level of support we have received is definitely not the norm, and their engagement has been crucial to our success.

A dream that was born over a decade ago has finally come true. It's really happening. In 2024, ownership will transfer officially to our project, our community, all of us. As a member of our community, the Broadway will belong to you. This is your cinema, and it will remain so for generations to come.

Now let's enjoy the journey. Together.

You can now read our full press release below! One more time, for all your support, we can never thank you enough.

Press Release:

Friends of the Broadway get green light from Scottish Land Fund to purchase historic Prestwick Cinema:

The charity responsible for bringing back an iconic Prestwick cinema has been granted funding to purchase the building after a successful bid to the Scottish Land Fund. The Art Deco gem on Main Street, fondly remembered by generations of Ayrshire cinemagoers, will be brought into community ownership, and redeveloped into a cinema, multi-purpose entertainment venue, and inclusive space that will benefit the whole community.

Professor Guy Walker, Chair of Friends of the Broadway, said:

“Bringing back the Broadway started as a dream held by a committed group of Prestwick residents. Today that dream came true. The building will be owned by the community, and we are ‘bringing the Broadway back’ for everyone who said they would love to see films here again. Over the years people have asked us what’s happening with the building, and expressed their wish for something for young and older people to do in the town - well this is our Christmas present to you!”

The Scottish Land Fund has awarded Friends of the Broadway the majority of the purchase price, with building owners, Buzzworks Group, contributing a significant six figure discount to enable it to pass into community ownership. Indeed, the charity has been supported and encouraged from the beginning of the journey, by Buzzworks and the business’ chairman Colin Blair, who commented:

“We are proud to support Friends of the Broadway and hope this further significant financial contribution will allow the group to continue its vital work in preserving this historic building, while creating an amenity for the community of Prestwick to enjoy for years to come.”

In addition to the purchase price, the Scottish Land Fund has also awarded £50,000 for immediate essential maintenance and further funding for a Project Development Officer, to drive the project forward into the next phases of renovation. Friends of the Broadway would also like to thank South Ayrshire Council, who have offered extensive help and support during the funding process.

Councillor Alec Clark, Tourism, Culture and Rural Affairs Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “This is great news for Prestwick. Friends of the Broadway have been working on this initiative for several years and their commitment has been rewarded. The restored Broadway will be a jewel in Prestwick's crown and a centre of excellence in the cultural and artistic future of the town.”

Built in 1935, the Broadway Cinema is a surviving example of Scotland’s golden age of cinema; a time when even the biggest movie releases were brought to local high streets to be enjoyed by all ages. Originally seating over 1,000 people, large parts of the building remain unchanged. Cigarette ends still linger in the circle’s ashtrays and the projection room appears as a time capsule, with reels and equipment in the same spot as when they were last used. The last film was shown in 1976, and after that the building was put to many uses, including a leisure centre, amusement arcade, and squash courts. But it is Friends of the Broadway who will now restore the historic building to its original purpose.

With heritage preservation at the core of the charity’s aims, the building will be brought back to life in partnership with architects Burrell Foley Fischer, who specialise in the heritage cinema and theatre design. The original art deco features of the cinema will be honoured, with new additional features that will ensure it is accessible and convenient for modern day visitors.

The Broadway was designed in 1935 by renowned cinema architect, Alister Gladstone MacDonald. Alister's son Kelvin MacDonald, is the very first patron of Friends of the Broadway Prestwick, and incredibly passionate and supportive of the project's aims. He shared his well wishes upon hearing the news:

"My Dad would be so very pleased – and quite emotional – that the Broadway Cinema had been saved and is going to be restored. I am overjoyed on his behalf but even more overjoyed because the cinema has passed into community ownership – something that I hold close to my heart – and that this wonderful building will once again be at the heart of the community."

With the funding confirmed, the next phase of planning and development can now begin.

 Merry Christmas Prestwick, sorry we couldn't wrap it...

The Broadway belongs to you!

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1 Comment

Kyle Rae
Kyle Rae
Dec 14, 2023

This is tremendous 🖤.

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