Concerns raised about Linlithgow Academy Theatre

West Lothian Council has insisted that Linlithgow Academy Theatre is a school facility first and foremost, after complaints that it is no longer fit for purpose as a theatre.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 4:00 pm
The stage in the Linlithgow Academy school hall.

Linlithgow Folk Festival director Murdoch Kennedy organised a public meeting this week to discuss the possible loss of the theatre for community use.

He said: “It’s ironic that an eight -week course in musical theatre is being organised in Linlithgow at a time when many people fear that there may no longer be facilities available in the town for staging musical theatre productions.

“The changes which have been made to the hall at Linlithgow Academy – for many years marketed as the “Academy Theatre” - may mean that it is no longer a suitable venue for the type of events we have become accustomed to seeing in the town over several decades.

The removable seating in the Linlithgow Academy hall/ theatre.

"There has to be some serious doubt over the future of some organisations, given that there are no alternative facilities in Linlithgow for the kind of events they stage. For example, where could the Folk Festival Association stage a major concert with a big name artist - like Barbara Dickson or Ralph McTell?”

A council spokesperson said: “West Lothian Council has undertaken a significant amount of internal adaptations to improve teaching, social and breakout space for the pupils at Linlithgow Academy. This included the school assembly hall area. The improvements have been warmly welcomed by pupils and parents.

“Linlithgow Academy is first and foremost a school building and the quality of both the teaching and the facilities provided to pupils is paramount. The school assembly hall continues to be available to pupils and local community groups, as it has been for many years.

“Whilst it is regrettable that a group or individual feels that the changes have adversely affected the school assembly hall for their purpose, the requirements of individual external groups is not the primary consideration when carrying out improvement works for pupils within our school buildings.

“There continues to be a variety of accessible venues and spaces in the Linlithgow area which can be used for music and theatre performances, including the Burgh Halls.”