#SaveOurTheatres - The Swallow Theatre

by The Swallow Theatre in Whithorn, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 3rd November 2020 we successfully raised £6,947 with 130 supporters in 56 days

Scotland's smallest theatre needs a new roof. Help to ensure another 25 years of professional drama and music in rural Dumfries & Galloway.

by The Swallow Theatre in Whithorn, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Swallow Theatre is part of a national initiative launched by Theatres Trust to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of UK theatres.

The Swallow Theatre is Scotland's smallest professional theatre. Located in rural Dumfries & Galloway this unique and intimate venue is looking forward to reopening and is planning for the long-term future. As part of that future plan we need to replace the theatre roof. The estimated cost is just over £20,000 and we have already raised £4,957. As we cannot open the theatre to audiences at the moment, we'd love to be able to get the work on the roof completed before we reopen. We are asking for your help to raise the remaining £15,125 needed to replace the theatre roof.

The theatre was created from a converted byre almost 25 years ago. Exposed to the fiercest of winds, rains and summer heat, the agricultural type roof is now showing its age, with increasing damage and wear and tear, and needs to be replaced.

By making a donation or pledging on a reward, you will be helping us to continue to offer professional drama and music, workshops, family shows, play readings and other events to the community and visitors in this rural and remote corner of south west Scotland long into the future.

Why are we crowdfunding?

The theatre is independently owned and operated and receives no regular council grants, arts body funding or other external financial support. Instead it is funded by audience ticket sales, and donations and sponsorship from those who love this place and value what it offers.

We try to keep prices as affordable as possible for the widest group of people, and therefore we have no reserves to fund this major work. During the Covid-19 pandemic, like all theatres, we have not been allowed to open and have had to cancel all performances for the immediate future, including our planned roof appeal fundraising events.

Your donations will be used to replace the roof covering, making it waterproof and windproof.

If we exceed our target any additional funds will be used as a contingency for any nasty surprises we find once the old roofing is removed. If any funds are left over they will be used for other maintenance and renovation tasks on the theatre buildings.

About The Swallow Theatre


This miniature performance space was created from a derelict cow byre in the theatre founders' garden in the mid 1990s. The Swallow Theatre is named after the birds who originally roosted in the theatre and who still return and nest in the various buildings around the site. Since opening its door the theatre has become a valued part of the community and offers high quality professional theatre and music to this rural part of Dumfries & Galloway.

Seating typically 46 and fully equipped as a theatre, The Swallow Theatre is Scotland's smallest professional venue.


This intimate performance space presents a curated programme of activities including professional touring theatre productions, world class music, workshops, family activities, play readings and other events. The programme often includes adaptations of literary classics and modern novels, entertaining and thought-provoking feel-good shows and new works and writing.

Prior to Covid-19 an increasing programme of activities was attracting a growing audience from across the whole of Dumfries & Galloway, supplemented by tourists.

Visiting The Swallow Theatre is an experience. Located in countryside three miles from the nearest villages and nine miles from Wigtown - Scotland’s ‘Book Town’ - people have to make a commitment to come out to the theatre. A warm welcome awaits and the theatre's aim is that an audience will leave this magical space uplifted from their visit here.


We appreciate that times are challenging and that there are a great many worthwhile organisations and businesses asking for help at the moment. Donations of any amount are very welcome and much appreciated.

If a number of people equivalent to the audience members who have seen a show here over the last four years gave us just £3 each - roughly the cost of an interval drink or ice cream - we'd meet our target! So please consider contributing whatever you can afford.


As well as accepting donations we are also offering a selection of rewards as shown in the panel on the right as a thank you for your generous support.

For donations of £25 or more we are offering the opportunity to have your name or a short message on a tile that will be added to our commemorative roof appeal mural which will be displayed at the rear of the auditorium. Here's a mock up of what it could look like:-

Mock up image of Roof Appeal Commemorative plaque in the theatre

Tiles are 7.5cm x 3cm. Each tile can have up to 3 lines containing a maximum of 25 characters per line (including spaces and punctuation). We shall get in touch with you within a few weeks of your order so that you can tell us your words.

Your message will also be listed on a thank you page on our website.

If you would like to have more than one tile, with either the same or different messages, you can buy multiples tiles by increasing the quantity at the checkout. The tiles will be placed randomly in the mural and may not be together, so each tile must contain a standalone message.

We are very grateful to The Wee Garden Gallery, Whithorn, for assistance with this reward, and for providing their time and expertise in printing the tiles as a donation to the roof appeal.

Crowdfunder fees

Crowdfunder are very kindly waiving their own fees and the credit card fees for organisations affected by Covid-19, and so 100% of your donation is coming to The Swallow Theatre. To help cover their costs, at the checkout Crowdfunder asks for an optional 'tip' from anyone who feels able to do so. There is no obligation to tip, and if you prefer not to, please select 'Other Amount' and type in 0.


About Save Our Theatres - a message from Theatres Trust

In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. Places to come together, to be inspired and be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills. 

But we risk losing this forever.

Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Six months later, we still don’t know when they will be able to reopen fully. A decision won’t be made until November at the earliest – too late for most to put on their annual pantomime, which often provides the income to support the theatre for the rest of the year.

This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres in a perilous situation. The government’s bailout is spread across all cultural organisations and certainly won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.

Every day theatres are facing the tough decision to make staff redundant and to close their doors until next year. And there is a real risk that those closures could be permanent. 

Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.


Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to help us to make sure our theatres survive beyond this crisis. 


Contact The Swallow Theatre

You can get in touch with us at

The Swallow Theatre
Moss Park
Newton Stewart
Dumfries & Galloway

Telephone: 01988 850368

Email: [email protected]

Facebook, Instragram, Twitter: @SwallowTheatre

The Swallow Theatre terms & conditions relating to the roof appeal are available at https://www.swallowtheatre.co.uk/tst/roof-appeal-donation/

Sign up for email newsletters here and be one of the first to know when shows restart.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

Buy a tile

Your name or a short message of your choice on a small tile which will form a larger mural at the back of the auditorium. Your tile words also listed on our website. See the main panel for more information.

£2 or more

Virtual thank you

We'll give you a virtual round of applause.

£5 or more

Website thank you

Be listed as a supporter on our website.

£15 or more

Video thank you

Your name credited as a supporter in a short video to be shared on Facebook, and also be listed as a supporter on our website.

£75 or more

Tile plus enamel lapel pin badges

As for the £25 reward, plus two Swallow Theatre exclusive supporter lapel pin badges as a permanent reminder of your contribution.

£150 or more

Tile plus pin badges plus drinks reception

As for the £75 reward, plus an invitation for you your partner or a friend to an exclusive drinks reception to launch the tile mural and celebrate the restored roof. A selection of dates will be offered, sometime in spring/summer 2021. Social distancing to be observed!

£500 or more

Everything above plus exclusive tour

All items in the £150 reward, plus an invitation for you and your partner or a friend plus up to four further friends to a private tour of the theatre and garden with the owners including a look backstage and at the actors’ accommodation. Prosecco and other light refreshments included. Date to be arranged at a mutually convenient time in spring/summer 2021. Tour duration up to two hours.

Got an idea like this?

Over £200 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.