Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre has been awarded £1.5 million of Scottish Government funding towards its refurbishment programme.
The 140-year-old institution will undergo major works to improve accessibility, protect the building’s unique Victorian features and create a new studio, rehearsal and learning space, and a new café and bar.
The redevelopment, which will be completed in 2020, is part of the Gorbals regeneration programme, and will allow the Citizens Theatre to continue to play a leading role as a key cultural venue in Glasgow.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Citizens Theatre is of significant architectural importance, and has been a much-loved venue in the south of Glasgow for more than 100 years. It is also one of Scotland’s flagship producing theatres, with an international reputation for inspirational and unique live performances.
“The refurbishment will help to protect the building for future generations, as well as increasing accessibility. I am pleased that, in addition to other confirmed funding from Scottish Government, we can now announce a further £1.5 million towards securing the future of the theatre and transforming the experiences of audiences, participants and performers.”
Dominic Hill, artistic director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “We thank the Scottish Government for their support of £1.5 million from the Culture budget towards our transformational redevelopment project. This funding, for our Victorian home in the Gorbals, is vital to our success. It will help to ensure that we can continue to enhance and transform lives through performance and participation that everyone can access for decades to come.”
The Category B listed building opened as His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878. It was also known as the Royal Princesses Theatre until the building was first leased to James Bridie’s Citizens Theatre Company in 1945.
Retaining many of its Victorian architectural features, it is the only theatre in Scotland still to have its original machinery under the stage, and features an original Victorian paint frame and related fly-system, which is still used today to paint backcloths.
The funding announced today, which will come from the Scottish Government’s Culture budget, is a Programme for Government commitment. It follows £500,000 of funding from Historic Environment Scotland and £2.5 million of Scottish Government Capital Grant Funding already announced.
The total cost of the redevelopment project is £19.4m.
Other funders include Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Robertson Trust and a range of other trusts and individuals.