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£4.8m Heritage Lottery Funding confirmed for Citizens redevelopment

The theatre's paint frame will be preserved as part of the works. Photo: Alex Brady
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The Glasgow Citizens Theatre has received a grant of £4.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards its £19.8 million redevelopment project.

The funding will help preserve and reveal the most significant parts of the Citizens’ architectural heritage. This includes the Victorian auditorium, its rare collection of original 19th century stage machinery and a unique example of a working paint frame.

The theatre is one of the few remaining old buildings left in the area and has been at the heart of the Gorbals since it opened as His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878. From 1880 is was known as the Royal Princesses Theatre until the building was first leased to James Bridie’s Citizens Theatre Company in 1945.

As previously reported, the Citizens Theatre Company will move out of the building in June 2018, taking up residency in the Glasgow Tramway until the Autumn of 2020.

Judith Kilvington, executive director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “This critical funding will allow us not only to preserve our Victorian theatre but also to tell stories which help to uncover and communicate the physical, architectural, social and cultural heritage of the Citizens Theatre to many future generations of theatregoers, participants, and visitors.”

The grant brings the total raised and pledged for the redevelopment project to £16.3 million. A decision on a further £1.5 million grant from Creative Scotland is due in January and the theatre is engaged in a major ‘We Are Citizens’ campaign to raise £1.6 million from the public.