Lyth Arts Centre, deep in the Caithness countryside, is housed in a beautiful old building surrounded by trees and aged stone walls. From the outside it retains the character of a Victorian village school but the interior has been imaginatively converted to a dynamic multi-purpose arts centre.
Most of the programme is devoted to presenting the work of professional British and international artists and performers and the centre also acts as a stepping-off point for local artistic activity. The main aim is to promote work of the highest standard.
A programme of live performances presents the best work of small-scale touring companies – often innovative and experimental. This includes drama, dance, jazz, folk, classical and world music. The centre goes dark in the winter months and events are presented in other locations in neighbouring towns and villages.
The centre was established by William Wilson, an accomplished artist and musician who trained as a cinematographer at the RCA and worked in film and television in London before returning to his native Caithness in 1977. He saw the need to support fellow artists and musicians in the north of Scotland and decided to establish somewhere to stage exhibitions, drama and live music so that all the exciting things that were happening elsewhere in the country could find a foothold in the north.
What began as a gallery grew in an intimate venue which regularly over-spilled into William’s home in the adjacent schoolhouse and after the first 25 years the centre was totally redeveloped over two years thanks to a family legacy and Lottery funding. This provided a new entrance and foyer, a remodelled fully-equipped 60-seat black-box studio theatre which in the summer converts into an exhibition space, back-stage facilities, a café and a purpose-built accommodation annex for visiting performers and artists – all with disabled access.
If you are interested in performing, exhibiting or using the arts and accommodation facilities at Lyth, please contact us.
Lyth Arts Centre,
Telephone (01955) 641 434