FULL CIRQLE - Edinburgh's Centre for Circus Arts

Be a part of a brand new dedicated Circus and performance arts centre.

We did it!

On 18th Apr 2015 we successfully raised £8,865 of £5,000 target with 261 supporters in 15 days

Full Cirqle : Edinburgh's Centre for Circus Arts opens this May in Portobello. Help us make a circus heart for Edinburgh. 


We hit the initial target and two stretch goals! Everything raised in this final day goes towards the next phase of building work - plumbing, joinery, the security system. Please support and share to give us the best possible start for Full Cirqle!

Watch our video and read below to help launch this new venue for creation, learning and sharing - the first full time contemporary circus centre in Scotland.

What is Full Cirqle?

One month ago a group of circus makers were offered the rare chance to take on a warehouse building in Portobello, a seaside town on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and dedicate it to circus arts. We took that chance and Full Cirqle was born. But we only have four weeks to get rigging points and truss in, install an entry system and make it safe for children before we open on 10 May!

There are people working in Circus all over Scotland but all share their spaces with other projects. Edinburgh's brand new Centre for Circus Arts will include a dance studio, two rehearsal spaces, storage, offices and an aerial barn. It is a bold and exciting project at just the right time, days before several groups of circus artists lost their training space at nearby The Arts Factory to demolition. Full Cirqle expects to be home to seven circus companies and up to 50 individual members working in circus, theatre, parkour, music, film, yoga, pilates and physical therapies. We want to welcome our wider community to learn, train and play with us. The social enterprise we are creating is by the people for the people!

Full Cirqle is going to become a hub for Scotland's Circus community and a unique place in the cultural scene. It has so much to offer, bursting with potential. We will be a community building throwing the doors open to people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and share the joy of Circus. Classes and workshops will educate, events will inspire, cabarets and open days will connect us together. Come to visit or come to stay, we want to welcome Circus artists from across the world to a warm, welcoming place to train and work.

What it could look like! This is one of our inspirations - Circus Central in Newcastle.

What is contemporary Circus?

Contemporary Circus fuses performing arts such as dance, theatre, gymnastics, acrobatics and object manipulation. Our building will house all sorts of juggling, aerial, parkour, yoga, massage, hula hooping, poi/staff spinning, hand balancing, acrobatics, partner acro, soft martial arts, gymnastics, contortion, unicycling, slacklining, cyr wheel, chinese pole, dance and many more exciting things that come together under the umbrella of contemporary Circus arts.

Who are We?

Our core team (Ron, Julie, Phyllis, Rob) came together to seize this opportunity with backgrounds in operating and refurbishing buildings, show, tour,  festival, venue and event management. Between us we have produced some of the biggest Circus projects in Scotland including The Commonwealth Youth Circus, touring shows JAMP and 9-2-5, Celtic fire theatre collective PyroCeltica and The Portobello Arts Factory, as well as teaching, performing and producing circus projects across the UK (Play Festival, UK Youth Circus Network Conference, Invisible Circus's Happiness Machine) and the world (Burning Man, Danish Juggling Convention). We love making circus in Scotland and want Full Cirqle to connect to our circus family all across the world. We will be operating as a community interest company run by its members. Profits (when they are made) will go back into improving the centre and our ability to support performing arts and Circus in Scotland.   

The Commonwealth Youth Circus trained 18 young performers and toured a 15 tonne set to 17 locations across Scotland

What will my support go towards?

Everything is happening very fast. A core of volunteers are already painting, fixing and building like crazy to get basic spaces ready and members are donating their equipment to kit the place out. But there are some things that we don't have, can't make ourselves and can't borrow. That's why we need your support - to pay for rigging and entry systems to keep the space secure, get qualified professional technicians and structural engineers to make the space safe to train in.

The £5000 we are aiming for will go towards:

  • Truss, slings, shackles and bolts in the main room - £658
  • Cable, slings and rope in the aerial barn - £1024
  • Truss for the aerial barn - £2500
  • Qualified aerial rigger to install main room and aerial barn kit - £750
  • Acrobatic lunge line (a safety harness for working up high) - £325
  • Plumbing, joinery and electrics - £1228

***Now that we have reached our baseline of £6500 for the rigging and building works listed here we are working towards wooden floor for the dance / yoga studio (£400), insulation round the doorways of the aerial barn (£600), a website and booking system (£600), a fresh water tap and second toilet (£400). Funding applications have been submitted for netting, curtains and curtain rails.***

Once the building is rigged and safe the community of 50 members will cover the basic rent. We have funding applications in for more investment in the space and will generate income from hires. We can have a sustainable circus hub but have to pull together to make it happen. Every pound gets us closer to that goal so pick a fun reward and join in.

A version of the rigging plan. What will it actually look like? Come along to the launch on 10 May and find out...

We also need to strengthen our community. We want you to be part of the Circus movement. We want you to come to Full Cirqle so we can teach learn and grow together. This is only the beginning. Join the family and we will be strong - we are offering earlybird memberships with a fiver off (get them while they are hot) and other great bargains and fun thank-yous. We don't want donations instead we want support and we will do everything we can to honour the support you can give us!

Why should I back this campaign?

You believe that a thriving arts space is the heart of a community. You want to spread the joy of circus. You want to be a part of the Scottish circus movement or maybe you are already. Perhaps you just feel there should be a little more magic in the world. Whoever you are you will always be welcomed at Full Cirqle.

We have been looking for a dedicated circus space for years. We have only a few short weeks to make this dream a reality for ourselves and everyone who loves circus.

We have landed ourselves an amazing building, subletting from an arts charity called  'Out of the Blue' arts and education trust - they do great work providing affordable art space.  We hope to have a long tenancy developing the building to suit its new purpose as a mecca for Circus Arts.  The building is in great condition with a fantastic open plan feel, it's warm and bright and has a brilliant location a stonesthrow from Portobello beach with good bus links, cycle routes and with a host of local eateries and conveniences. 

ACT NOW. This is only a TWO WEEK CAMPAIGN because that's all the time we have to get things started.

Keep reading to find out more about the space, check out the rewards and then pledge and share TODAY so that we can meet our target in only half the time of most campaigns.


The Full Cirqlers

Circus makes you happy and it makes the sun shine. Fact. (This is circus in Ithaca but sometimes the sun shines in Scotland too.)

About the space

This is the main hall. If you are a member you will be issued with an electronic key to use this space 24/7 for open Circus training. The 3 glass fronted rooms will be for meetings/private hire,  communal office/internet space for Circus businesses and a massage/therapy room. 

This is the Aerial Barn - a warehouse style room will be fully rigged for all types of Aerial arts. There will be lots of classes most evenings hosted by the some of the best Aerial tutors in Scotland.  When there is no aerial in this room it will be used for Parkour (free running), acrobatics (lunge line) and Chinese pole. 


 Below is the Dance and Yoga studio. Imagine it with wooden floors and mirrors. It also has big radiators and a good ventilation system for a controllable climate. This very nice space will be available to rent per hour for hosting a wide variety of different classes and workshops.  


The mezzanine is another low cost rentable space which can be partitioned in two and curtained in. Perfect for larger classes or for artists who want some private space for creation process. 





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