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Glasgow Citizens theatre to go dark for two years in £19.4m redevelopment

Artist's impression of the Citizens Theatre
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Glasgow’s Citizens theatre is to go dark from June 2018 to autumn 2020, while the theatre undergoes a £19.4 million redevelopment.

The Citizens Theatre Company will present work at Glasgow Tramway from September 2018. The theatre’s community and education programmes will move to Scotland Street School Museum, where the admin team will have backroom office space.

The company also intends to collaborate with other Glasgow venues, as well as taking its work further afield across Scotland during the period of closure.

The new building has been designed by architectural practice Bennetts Associates and will be the most comprehensive redevelopment of the category B-listed building in its history.

Plans include improved accessibility across the entire building, new bar and cafe facilities as well as new rehearsal, learning and studio spaces.

The redevelopment will secure the heritage of the building’s Victorian architectural features: it is the only theatre in Scotland still to have its original machinery under the stage. It also has an original Victorian paint frame and related fly system, which is still used today to paint backcloths.

Dominic Hill, artistic director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “The Citizens Theatre building is about to embark on the biggest changes to its physical structure in its 139-year history.

“This latest stage in our £19.4 million redevelopment project presents an exciting opportunity for a number of key landmark cultural organisations to work together in Glasgow. Our shared history of innovation and creativity makes it a great opportunity to collaborate with them.”

The theatre recently launched the ‘We Are Citizens’ public fundraising campaign to inspire, engage, and encourage others to raise £1.6 million towards the building’s redevelopment.

The Citizens has successfully secured £11.5 million in pledges towards the redevelopment project from the Glasgow City Council, Scottish Government, trusts and individuals. Applications (Round 2) to Creative Scotland for £1.5 million and the Heritage Lottery Fund for £4.8 million have been submitted with decisions due in December and January.

The full project will not commence until the outcome of these submissions is known.

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