- but project still 'hangs in the balance' as end of January deadline approaches

Embargoed for 0001hrs 13th January 2012

Arts body Creative Scotland has today confirmed that it is to award the Friends of the Birks Cinema group £100,000 towards rebuilding and modernising the cinema in Aberfeldy.

This success comes hot on the heels of a successful similar sized donation from the Scottish Hydro Griffin Community Fund, and has put the campaign to restore the cinema on the verge of achieving it
target following a marathon fundraising effort. The group, made of of community volunteers and with a membership of over 400, has now achieved nearly 90% of its £1.8m target. The deadline for completing the campaign is at the end of January.

Creative Scotland has awarded the grant under its Capital Investment programme. David Taylor, Creative Scotland Special Projects Portfolio Manager said: “Creative Scotland recognises the strong local commitment and partnerships that have advanced this project thus far. We are pleased to invest in the provision of top quality cinema facilities in rural Perthshire and wish the Friends of the Birks success in raising the balance of funds needed to complete the package.”

Charlotte Flower, Chair of the Friends of the Birks Cinema group said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this vital grant from Creative Scotland. It takes us to within sight of the finish line to raise the funds to get the project up and running. We are tantalisingly close now, with just under three weeks left to raise the remaining £220,000 and we are making our last big effort now with our remaining funding applications and direct appeals. We are hopeful but it is by no means a certainty and the project still hangs in the balance. If we cannot raise the remainder the project will not go ahead - it is as simple a that."

A last big push is now underway to raise the remaining funds by the end of the month - with a number of additional funding applications to various trusts including the Volant Trust and the Gloag Foundation. A final direct mail appeal to members of the public has gone out this week, and a large number of final appeals have been made to various corporations, local businesses and individuals. The group must match the Scottish Government Rural Development Programme grant which was awarded last year in order to still retain it - by the end of January.

The group reports 'fantastic' support from the local community and from further afield, has increased its membership by over 50% to 420 members, has held successful local events and has raised over £100,000 from local community fundraising and locally sourced grants in the last few months. The sale of 'sponsored seats' has also doubled to 26 and FOBC will report on some significant seat sponsorship in due course.

For more information on the Birks Cinema campaign go to:

For more information about Creative Scotland go to:

Media contact call 07748 446 954