A THEATRE that is being given a new lease of life after being abandoned for nearly 20 years is in line for a £1 million boost.

The campaign to return Leith Theatre to a full-time working venue - which is backed by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and Spud actor Ewen Bremner - is to receive the money under Edinburgh City Council budget plans.

It will bolster the push to have the theatre, which is currently being used for on-off small-scale events, back in full use in about three to five years.

The Herald:

Above: Leith Theatre. Image: Gordon Terris

The plans that are still to be agreed include funding to reopen the cities galleries and museums seven days a week after a five-day week led do a huge drop in visitor numbers.

Richard Garven, Leith Theatre Trust treasurer, said the funding would represent "a big step forward".

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle

The theatre attracted some of the biggest names in the music industry during its golden age in the 1960s and 1970s.

Bands such as AC/DC, Slade, Thin Lizzy and Kraftwerk graced the stage of the theatre in its heyday.

The Herald:

Welsh agreed to become patron of Leith Theatre and Spud the campaign ambassador.

The Leith Theatre Trust took control of the building from the council about two years ago, and now hope to restore the 1,500-capacity building to its former glory.

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Welsh, who was born in the area in 1961, said he believed the restored building could help the city's music scene recover.

It was temporarily reopened in May for the Hidden Door Festival, which specialises in transforming run-down spaces.

The Herald:

Above: Preparatory work last May. Image Gordon Terris

The theatre complex, including the library, was a gift from the people of Edinburgh to the people of Leith following the decision in 1920 to incorporate the Burgh of Leith into Edinburgh.

Building work started in 1929 and it opened in 1932.

Read more: Art deco cinema in demolition battle

The main auditorium suffered bomb damage in 1941 and was closed until 1961.

The Leith Theatre auditorium was finally closed in 1988, and the Leith Theatre Trust was established in 2004 as a community trust to examine the options for the re-use of the theatre complex and its various spaces.