Council approves £1m extra funding for historic theatre

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A council has approved additional grant funding of £1 million for the Citizens Theatre redevelopment project.

The historic theatre in Glasgow was formed in 1943 and its £19.4 million revamp will be the first comprehensive renovation in its 140-year history.

The funding sanctioned by Glasgow City Council on Thursday brings the total support for the project from the authority to £5 million.

An artist’s impression of the interior of the Citizens Theatre (Citizens Theatre/PA)

Redevelopment work required to transform the council-owned building is expected to start later this year with completion expected in December 2020.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm, said: “I am delighted that the council has approved this final piece of funding for the redevelopment of the Citizens Theatre, for so long a great ambassador for Glasgow, delivering notably successful community programmes and where so many theatrical careers have been launched.

“This project complements much of what we are doing in the Laurieston and Gorbals area, and I am sure that when complete, we will have an asset for all of Glasgow that brings us fantastic cultural, economic and social benefits.”

While work is taking place, the theatre’s administrative, box office and learning functions will relocate to Scotland Street School Museum, with the museum open as normal.

Other functions – carpentry, lighting, rehearsals, stage management and wardrobe – will relocate to City Building’s Skills Academy in the Gorbals and a number of performances will be held in Tramway.

The theatre company also plans to tour its work during the period of closure.

Judith Kilvington, executive director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “I’m proud that our Victorian home in the Gorbals has served communities throughout Glasgow and beyond for 140 years.

“This additional funding is essential not only to the redevelopment of the Citizens Theatre, but to the regeneration of the Gorbals and Laurieston.

“We are now calling on the general public to help us write the next act in our story by getting behind our We Are Citizens campaign to raise the final £1.6 million needed.”

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