The campaign to raise enough money to reopen the Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy after nearly 30 years is nearly at its goal thanks to a local wind farm.

The local group the Friends of the Birks Cinema (FOBC), has now raised nearly 80% of the £1.8 million needed to fund the cinema rebuild and modernisation, following a gift of £100,000 from the Scottish Hydro Griffin wind farm community fund.

A last big push is now under way to raise the remaining funds by the end of the month, with a number of funding applications to various trusts including the Volant Trust and Balcraig Foundation. A final direct mail appeal to members of the public in and around the Highland Perthshire community is set to go out next week and a large number of final appeals have been made to various corporations, local businesses and individuals.

The group reports fantastic support from the local community and further afield and said it has increased its membership by more than 50% to 420.

Local events and fundraising and grants have brought in more than £100,000 inthe past few months. The sale of "sponsored seats" has also doubled to 26 and FOBC said will report on some significant seat sponsorship in due course.

Charlotte Flower, chairwoman of the Friends of the Birks Cinema charity, said: "A significant award such as this will play a very important part in meeting our target at the end of January to secure the match funding awarded in June 2010 from Scotland's Rural Development Programme.

"Our plans to revive the Birks building into a state-of-the-art modern cinema continue and we hope to provide residents and visitors with a first-class facility to be proud of.

"Our vision of a new hub to 'complete the triangle' for arts and culture in the heart of Perthshire, alongside Pitlochry's Festival Theatre and Birnam's Arts Centre, is getting closer all the time."

Scottish Hydro, the Perth-based utility company that owns and operates the 68-turbine Griffin wind farm near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, will pay around £320,000 per annum into the Griffin fund for the 25-year lifespan of the wind farm.

Tony Scott, project manager for the construction of the Griffin wind farm, said: "It's really exciting to see the Griffin community fund being used for a local project that so many people could benefit from."