This is the place to keep updated on all the latest progress and developments at what will be our new home, the former Kilmarnock Academy. Centrestage is on the move and we can't wait to share our new space with you. 

We’re Going ‘LIVE’ at the Village

2020 is such an important year for us at Centrestage as we move from James Little St, our home since 2006 to our new home ‘Centrestage Village’ (the former Kilmarnock Academy) this August. Since construction work commenced in 2019, we’ve continued to share progress through our social media channels, emails, our website and various open days that have taken place.

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We’ve kicked off 2020 and it’s all happening at ‘Centrestage Village'

February has arrived and many activities are accelerating at ‘Centrestage Village’ as we continue to make progress at what will be our new home. The ‘Village’ main entrance work is taking shape and the state of the art nursery development work have recently commenced, not forgetting the ‘Centrestage Theatre’ which has now been fitted with solid steel foundations that will support the theatre floor and upper circle. Keep your eyes peeled for our time-lapse camera footage that we will be sharing soon.

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Looking back at 2019

Back in February this year we officially accepted the keys to the former Kilmarnock Academy from East Ayrshire. The exchange formally concluded the largest Community Asset Transfer in Scotland to date.

Since then, awarded contractors ‘Brick and Steel Construction’ have been on site delivering phase one of the project, including what will be the new entrance to the ‘Village’ and the state of the art ‘Centrestage Theatre’.

‘There’s a new Village in Town’ | Coming in 2020!

Take a look back...

October update!

We’re now in our Winter season at Centrestage and work continues to progress at ‘Centrestage Village.’ 

Here’s the latest developments and pictures of what’s been going on since our last update… 

Keeping you updated!

It’s September and we’re continuing to make progress at ‘Centrestage Village.’

Our contractors ‘Brick and Steel’ have been with us on site for a few months and phase one progress continues with significant changes to the internal landscape at the former ‘Kilmarnock Academy.’ Major developments are taking shape within the old assembly hall, making way for our new state of the art ‘Centrestage Theatre.’ Work is also taking place at what will be the main entrance to ‘Centrestage Village’ and each day we get the opportunity to see everything starting to come together.

‘There’s a new Village in Town’ | Coming in 2020!

Find out what’s been going on with ‘Centrestage Village’ updates

Getting to ‘Centrestage Village'

Visiting us soon? Please use the following guide for all you need to know about parking, public transport links and main entrance changes due to site construction works. If you have any questions please call us on 01563 551505.

We look forward to welcoming you very soon.

‘There’s a new Village in Town’ | Opening 2020.

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There’s a new Village in Town!

In February 2019 we officially took responsibility of the former Kilmarnock Academy site, the largest asset transfer in Scotland to date.

The historic landmark has formed part of the Towns skyline since 1898 and we’re all very honoured and privileged to take it forward and continue to deliver our vision of ‘building energetic and inclusive communities with the arts at the heart.’ Not only will ‘Centrestage Village’ become our new home for all our #funfoodfolk activities to grow and develop, it will also see various local and national partners moving in, creating a bustling neighbourhood for people to come together.

#bepartofit and have a look at our guide for more information.

We’ve Started!

Over the coming weeks our awarded contractor ‘Brick and Steel Construction’ will commence phase one work at Centrestage Village. Restricted access to the site and car park are already in place in preparations for the forthcoming programme of works. Conversations will be taking place with our neighbours around the site to keep everyone updated on what to expect throughout the duration of construction works, although it’s important to note that nothing should impact activity out with the sites boundaries.  

It’s official, we have the ‘BIG’ key!

On Wednesday the 20th of February 2019 all aspects of the Kilmarnock Academy Asset Transfer were concluded, and we’ve now taken full ownership of this iconic site - what will be our new home ‘Centrestage Village’.

We are so grateful to everyone at the Scottish Government, East Ayrshire Council, The Hunter Foundation and to the many others that have worked so hard to advise and support us throughout this entire process.

We are all so excited about the next chapter of this incredible journey together!

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Our New Home

In response to the Press Release by Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart on Monday 12th March, Centrestage is delighted to have been supported by the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Fund which will enable the regeneration of Kilmarnock Academy.

Centrestage is honoured to secure this iconic educational site, which has an abundance of historical importance and character, with huge emotional attachment across the community.

In Safe Hands

Who would have thought when we opened the doors at James Little Street in Kilmarnock back in 2006 that twelve years later we would be announcing an incredibly exciting move to Kilmarnock Academy.

We are delighted to be working to relocate all of our activities to the iconic Kilmarnock landmark and are very grateful to East Ayrshire Council, The Scottish Government and The Hunter Foundation for their advice and support in making this a reality. So, the site is in safe hands and we will do everything we can to regenerate Kilmarnock Academy for the Town and the wider Ayrshire community, breathing new air into the space with the ‘arts at the heart’.

‘Share our Vision’ Event

On Wednesday 2nd May 2018 we presented our first of many community consultations around our move to Kilmarnock Academy. The event provided the opportunity to share our vision and plans for this iconic site and ensure that all our neighbours and the wider community are on this exciting journey with us, by answering any questions they had around the project. The event was well attended and welcomed an audience from across our Ayrshire communities.

Download the full ‘Share our Vision’ consultation report for the event.

We will keep you posted on future events planned. In the meantime if you have any questions and would like to speak with a member of our team, call 01563 551505 and ask for Andy or Frank from our Kilmarnock Academy project team who will be more that happy to help.

#artsattheheart #funfoodfolk

Kilmarnock Academy Legacy Project ‘Design Statement’

Introducing our Kilmarnock Academy Legacy Project ‘Design Statement’. The Design Statement provides an inclusive summary of the project including overview of Centrestage, site details, proposed design strategy, application consultation and appendices. Click on the link for full access to the statement and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Download the `Design Statement`

Scotland's national chef and cabinet secretary visit our new home

The sun shone as the Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance MSP and Gary MacLean, Scotland’s National Chef and winner of the BBC MasterChef Professionals 2016 visited Kilmarnock Academy on Tuesday 29th May, to see some of the work of Centrestage and hear more of their plans to relocate to the iconic site.

Read more here.

The ‘Kilmarnock Academy’ Handover Begins!

On Wednesday 1st August our Chief Operations Officer, Paul Mathieson accepted the keys to Kilmarnock Academy from East Ayrshire Council facilities team, officially starting the handover process of the iconic site. This is an incredibly exciting and significant step on our journey as we now commence with the next stage of the project.

Centrestage CEO, Fiona McKenzie said “What a privilege to be part of the future of this incredible place. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring the journey to this stage, now the real work begins. Such exciting times ahead.”

On Sunday the 19th of August, our ‘Festival Finale’ will take place at Kilmarnock Academy and we welcome everyone from across Ayrshire to come along on the day to enjoy everything #funfoodfolk. In addition to all the festival fun, we will be sharing our vision and plans for the Academy and delivering tours across the site, letting everyone see just how magical and wonderful the Academy is. It’s going to be a very special day and we’d love to have you with us. Keep updated on our Facebook page and website for further details.

Please note, this is not the official opening day, we have accessibility and cosmetic work required first before we move in. We will, of course, keep you all updated on progress along the way. The official opening will be something very special.


Spotlight on community empowerment as Cabinet Secretary visits Kilmarnock.

With community empowerment remaining firmly at the top of the agenda, East Ayrshire Council was delighted to welcome Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government to Kilmarnock earlier this week, to demonstrate how these new ways of working are helping to transform local communities.

During the visit, which was hosted by Centrestage, the Cabinet Secretary met with Council Leader, Councillor Douglas Reid, Depute Leader, Councillor Elena Whitham, Chief Executive Fiona Lees, Depute Chief Executive, Katie Kelly and Willie Coffey MSP, to learn more about the Council’s approach which is driving transformation within local communities.

Initiatives like Community Asset Transfers and Community Led Action Plans play a key role in the process, with Vibrant Communities working closely with local communities providing valuable support and encouragement along the way.

The Cabinet Secretary also had the opportunity to see some of the Centrestage’s most successful initiatives in practice including Connect, which supports young people disengaged with school, providing digital, creative and performing arts activities that harness their strengths and develop new skills; and Catalyst, which works with individuals pre and post liberation to enable a supportive process back into their communities, with workshops, advice and arts-based activities that create a platform for new opportunities.

Read the full Press Release