Theatre Trust partners with university to enhance Edinburgh’s cultural sector

By Press Office

A university and a leading Scottish theatre organisation have joined forces to develop new talent and support the wider creative and cultural sector in Edinburgh and Scotland.

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and the Festival City Theatres Trust have signed an agreement which will lead to a wide variety of artistic and development opportunities for students, staff and the wider community.

The partnership recognises the need to invest in the education and training of the next generation of creative talent. It is predicted that the theatres managed by the Festival City Theatres Trust, the King’s and Festival Theatres and the Studio at Potterrow will accommodate teaching sessions, with, for example, students having the chance to do voice work in large theatre spaces, and to engage in community theatre projects.

Students, across different specialisms, will also have the option to gain invaluable work experience through internships, research projects and community engagement opportunities. End of year showcase events, such as the Costume Showcase, which promotes the talents of QMU’s Costume Design and Construction degree students, could also be staged at Festival City Theatre Trust venues.

Richard Butt, Deputy Principal at Queen Margaret University said: “This new collaboration presents outstanding opportunities for our students to enhance their skills and knowledge by learning in a true theatre and arts environment. Beyond our drama, festival and cultural management students, there are also prospects for event management, PR, marketing and healthcare students to develop special projects. We also look forward to welcoming guest speakers from different areas of the Trust, who can share their professional knowledge with our student groups.

“The partnership supports projects that are of mutual benefit and we will explore research initiatives that will help not only the Festival City Theatres Trust and QMU, but the wider community.  The Trust is also known for its progressive educational activities and we may also explore the possibilities of validating some of its educational programmes.”

Duncan Hendry, Chief Executive of the Festival City Theatres Trust, said: “This partnership is based on our shared values of equality, diversity and participation, and the development of sustainable arts and cultural organisations which contribute positively to communities and nurture new talent. This is an exciting development with endless opportunities for collaboration across different specialisms. For example, by contributing to QMU steering groups, Trust staff can help shape course development, ensuring students are equipped with the right skills to go into industry. We also look forward to benefiting from new research which can help enhance our business practice and the quality of the customer experience in our theatres. 

“Importantly, we are pleased to be able to contribute positively to undergraduate and postgraduate cultural programmes and to further develop community education for a wide variety of people in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland.”



Notes to Editor

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Our vision is to be a university of ideas and influence.

Our mission is to foster intellectual capital with both a theoretical and practical focus, giving students and staff the confidence to make a real difference to the world around them.

We are known not only for excellent, relevant teaching, research and knowledge exchange but also for the care and respect we give our students, staff and partners. As a thriving campus university we strive to create a community without borders, helping to improve people's lives locally, nationally and internationally. We are ambitious and enterprising, and, in everything we do, we are committed to social justice.

We have flagship areas of expertise in Health and Rehabilitation, Creativity and Culture and Sustainable Business.

The Festival City Theatres Trust

The Festival City Theatres Trust aims to be recognised as a world class centre of excellence in the presentation of the performing arts. From the Festival Theatre (1,900 seats) and King’s Theatre (1,300 seats) and the Studio on Potterrow, the Trust presents work of the highest quality that inspires audiences.  More than 580 performance are staged each year attracting over 460,000 customers.  In 2016-17 26% of our programme was exclusive to our venues in Scotland.

We welcome prestigious local, national and international companies to our theatres to present a diverse programme of the very best drama, dance, musical theatre, children’s shows and pantomime. Our theatres are at the heart of the Edinburgh Festivals in the world’s leading festival city.

As Scotland’s largest independent theatre organisation, we support equal access to the arts and deliver an extensive creative learning programme to encourage and engage those who normally would not, or could not otherwise come to our theatres. In 2016-17, over 12,393 children, young people and adults from 18 months to 92 years old, took part in our learning and participation programme.

Our theatres and our programme are supported by the City of Edinburgh Council and Creative Scotland.

For more info:


Queen Margaret University media staff

Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, E:, T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239, or Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E:, T: 0131 474 0000



Festival City Theatre Trust

Catherine Bromley, Head of Press and Communications, E: T: 0131 622 8088  M: 07843 626042 


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