ARTS CENTRE FOR LIVINGSTON
Don Farquharson is a determined man. It was largely due to him that the town of Livingston benefited from the opening of Howden Park Centre in the 1970’s. Now, in the 1990’s Mr Farquharson has set himself a new challenge to provide the community with a multi-purpose arts centre. He realises that the newly formed West Lothian Council is stretched financially, therefore his intention is to apply to the National Lottery Fund and also look towards corporate sponsorship or whatever other means of finance there is available. He does, however, ask the council to provide a suitable plot of land on which to erect a purpose-built building which he believes is essential.
He also stresses the importance of a central location which would allow easy access to visitors and would become an integral part of the life of the town centre. Mr Farquharson is optimistic believing that a suitable site will be found. His meetings with the council have been encouraging, the campaign has the full support of the vice-convener Alistair Mackie who has offered to back the project on a long-term basis. The kind of venue Don Farquharson envisages is an art gallery with a central library, studio space, concert hall, sculpture court and gallery shop and café. The main art gallery would house a permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and a space for local professional and amateur artists. He would like to see a gallery which changes its exhibits regularly, thereby keeping visitors interested in going in to view. Traditional, contemporary and innovative art would all be on show.
This is an exciting venture since Livingston is a new and expanding town which is just starting to establish an identity of its own. The town centre is rapidly changing and developing. A new football stadium and team are a welcome addition to the fabric of the town. An arts centre would provide valuable cultural and educational benefits and become a sanctuary for relaxation and fulfilment If West Lothian Council and the business community join together with conviction, they can make it work.