Refurbishment (Phase One) - Now Completed
South Lanarkshire Council and Biggar Theatre Workshop worked in partnership to secure funding to complete a number of external and internal repairs essential for the building to remain operational, extend its life and improve its appearance.
Funding from the Rural Community Heritage Fund allowed them to commission a feasibility study from Richard Murphy Architects to look at a redesign of the Corn Exchange.
The first good news was that £197,350 was awarded to the Biggar Theatre Workshop towards the first phase of improvements to the Corn Exchange in the High Street from the Scottish Government's Town Centre Regeneration Fund. This, added to the substantial sums offered by both the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Council, meant that the BTW board, working in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council, secured close to £550,000 funding for the Corn Exchange project. For full details of funding, please click here.
The Corn Exchange closed immediately following the Biggar Little Festival in October 2009 and re-opened in October 2010. The aim was to repair and conserve Biggar Corn Exchange internally and externally and to extend the current life of the facility which will be safeguarded for use and appreciation by future generations.
- By tastefully upgrading areas of this building, which is of both historical and cultural value to the town, it will have a more inviting and appealing persona and it is anticipated to attract more user groups. It will become a focal point once again for the town and surrounding villages
- It will provide a centralised point for local residents to have access to information on their local town’s heritage
- The building will also have improved physical access
The project will preserve and maintain a Grade B listed building, an attractive historic legacy which forms the centrepiece of Biggar’s High Street and contributes significantly to the unique character of this “outstanding conservation area” which is why it is so important it is preserved to serve future generations.
The Corn Exchange has been tastefully upgraded and because of its commanding site in the centre of the town, has improved the appearance of the main street.
Biggar Corn Exchange has become one of the main sources of arts facilities in this rural area of South Lanarkshire, giving the people of Biggar (with a population of 3132) and surrounding rural areas the opportunity to participate in live theatre.
The Upgraded facility will attract more tourists to the town increasing footfall and dwell time during each visit. By having a theatre in the local vicinity that is inviting to national or regional theatre groups, productions could attend the area that may otherwise have been only available in other towns in the area, i.e. Lanark, Hamilton etc.
This could allow locals to view productions they may not have been able to attend otherwise, thus further improving economic growth within the town for example through pre theatre meals. Biggar has a thriving “Social Economy”, which is continuing to develop.