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Dewars whisky steps up to help Birks Cinema Campaign - campaign group appeals to other businesses to follow.

Thursday 19th January 2012

Dewars whisky steps up to help Birks Cinema Campaign - campaign group appeals to other businesses to follow.

Internationally renowned whisky distiller Dewar's, which operates the Aberfeldy Distillery, has donated over £10,000 to the Birks Cinema Group by sponsoring a whole row of seats. The boost to the campaign to restore and modernise the old cinema in the heart of the historic town of Aberfeldy is described as 'absolutely wonderful' by Chair of the Friends of the Birks Cinema group Charlotte Flower, and comes as the campaign moves into its final few weeks.

Seats in the new cinema can be 'sponsored' for £1000, and appeals have been made in recent weeks to many local and national businesses based in the area. The campaign to restore the cinema on the verge of achieving its target following a marathon fundraising effort has raised nearly 90% of its £1.8m target.

Senior Global Brand Ambassador for Dewars, Stephen Marshall said: "Aberfeldy is our home and the local community has always been vital to Dewar's. The son of our founder, Tommy Dewar, produced the first cinematic advert for a drinks product in 1898, so it feels apt to help support such an exciting venture."

Charlotte Flower, Chair of Friends of the Birks Cinema said: "It is absolutely wonderful for our famous local distillery to make such a generous gesture, and takes us even closer to our goal. Many local and national businesses have been invited to help, and we hope the example set by Dewars will spur others into action.

"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 as that"

In the last week £200,000 has been donated to the campaign by the Scottish Hydro Griffin wind farm fund and by arts body Creative Scotland.

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 Souter 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.