New theatre space as Marchmont arts charity appoints managing director

A disused Berwickshire church is set to be transformed into a theatre.

By Kirsty Smyth
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 3:49 pm
Lucy Brown, Marchmont Makers Foundation's new managing director, at Polwarth Kirk. Photograph by Colin Hattersley.
Lucy Brown, Marchmont Makers Foundation's new managing director, at Polwarth Kirk. Photograph by Colin Hattersley.

The Marchmont Makers Foundation, set up in 2021 by the team at Marchmont House, near Greenlaw, is turning Polwarth Kirk into a performance space to be used by local and touring groups from 2023.

The charity has recently taken a big step forward in its ambition to become a major supporter of Scotland’s arts by appointing Lucy Brown, previously head of Sotheby’s Scotland, as its first managing director.

Lucy said: "I have a life-long love of the arts and huge admiration for their capacity to give us new experiences and make us perceive the world in different ways.

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“It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to build and develop a fresh, young organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting creativity and the arts.

"Over the next few years we will invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in a variety of projects and our ambition is to become a major supporter of the arts and creativity in Scotland.”

The foundation will embrace everything from craft and the visual arts through to performing arts, guided by its core values of courage, inspiration and from the heart.

Much of the emphasis will be on The Borders. This year it is backing DunsPlayFest Spotlight Award, exploring partnerships with local schools and will host the graduations for the Eyemouth-based ReTweed social enterprise, which provides women with skills and experience working with textiles.

Other initiatives include providing residencies for artists in some of the studios and workshops that have been created by Marchmont.

The foundation was established by former tech entrepreneur Hugo Burge, director of Marchmont House and Alan Martin, Managing Director of Marchmont Ventures.

Hugo said: “Lucy’s appointment marks a truly significant moment for the Marchmont Makers Foundation – she has tremendous experience and a passion for the power of the arts.

“As the charity’s first ever managing director she will drive it forward, realising its aim of nurturing and supporting projects that would otherwise not be possible.”