Glasgow City Council today (22 February) approved additional grant funding of £1million for the £19.4million Citizens Theatre redevelopment project. This brings the total of funding support for the project from the council to £5million.
The Citizens Theatre is a world-renowned organisation which has brought many outstanding productions to the stage since its formation in 1943, and the redevelopment will be the first comprehensive renovation of the building in its 140-year history.
The condition of the building is now such that it presents a risk for its long-term operation, with the cost of emergency repairs impacting on its budgets for performance, community and audience development work. The project team has been working with officers from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life to get to this stage, and the redevelopment work required to transform the council-owned building is due to start on site later this year with completion expected by December 2020.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Ream at Glasgow City Council, 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."
Judith Kilvington, Executive Director of the Citizens Theatre, said: "We warmly welcome the news today that Glasgow City Council's City Administration Committee has approved an additional £1 million of funding for our transformational redevelopment project. 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. Today's announcement takes us one big step closer to securing our future. 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. I'd like to thank the councillors and their officials who have worked tirelessly in the background over the last four years to ensure this successful outcome for funding. We are looking forward to strengthening our partnership with Glasgow Life when we move into Scotland Street School Museum in June and start producing shows, including Cyrano de Bergerac in September, at Tramway."
While the redevelopment 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 take place in Tramway. The Citizens Theatre also plans to tour its work during the period of closure.