This popular venue is set to reopen under new management thanks to a rescue package put in place by the University of St Andrews who have signed a 25 year lease on the Byre and will operate it as a theatre, educational resource, arts venue and music centre.
The theatre previously closed its doors back in January 2013, much to the disappointment of its staff, the local community and also visitors to St Andrews.
The University, Fife Council and Creative Scotland have said that it will take a while for the Byre to return to normal, given the long lead times and necessary planning required for many of the productions.
There is a formal opening planned for later in the year and the University has confirmed that “Jack and the Beanstalk” will be this year’s Christmas Pantomime.
St Andrews University Principal, Professor Louise Richardson, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Fife Council, Creative Scotland, the community and the University have come together to ensure a bright future for the Byre. We look forward to working together in innovative and creative ways to forge a fabulous centre for the arts right here in St Andrews whose impact will be felt all over Scotland.”
Councillor David Ross, Leader of Fife Counci,l said: “The Byre Theatre is an important cultural asset for both St Andrews and Fife and I’m pleased that its long-term future has now been secured. It’s not been the easiest of journeys and I would like to thank the local community in particular for their patience and understanding over the last eighteen months. However, we can now look forward to this iconic building opening its doors on a full-time basis once again. I have every confidence that under the University’s stewardship, The Byre will go from strength to strength, and will very soon be delivering a high-quality programme of community and professional dance, music, film and theatre.”
Janet Archer, CEO, Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted that The Byre is soon to re-open. The agreement ensures that The Byre will return as an arts venue for professional and community use as well as becoming a connected part of St Andrews University. We welcome the University’s long term commitment to The Byre – home to many significant local festivals and a valued venue within the professional touring network – and the stability which this will provide over the coming years.”
Alan Tricker, Secretary of the Friends of the Byre which has long campaigned for the theatre’s re-opening, said: “The Byre Theatre was built and run by local theatre enthusiasts and in its various incarnations has been a hub for professional, community and university theatre activities for over 80 years. The Friends of the Byre are delighted that after 18 months of closure, the Byre is going to re-open. The plans outlined by the University of St Andrews show their commitment to revitalise what is the best small theatre in Scotland, and turn it into a beacon for the arts in St Andrews.”
We look forward to listing the Byre’s future shows and events on this site as they are announced.