Historic theatre given extra funding as redevelopment costs rise to £21.5m

A historic theatre in need of redevelopment has been given almost £2 million in extra funding after it emerged the project’s final cost had risen.

Essential work at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow was originally set to cost £19.4 million but once tenders were submitted and returned the cost crept up to around £21.5 million.

Citizens Theatre Ltd – the company which leases the building from Glasgow City Council – had secured £20.5 million, leaving a funding gap that has now been plugged by the local authority.

As well as the extra £1 million received from Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government has also added £500,000 and Historic Environment Scotland £282,000.

Councillor Kenny McLean said: “The cultural and community work of the Citizens Theatre is renowned and valued at local, national and international levels, and the investment of the council and our partners will allow this work to continue in its historic home.

“It is important to progress with this work now, and the contributions made by the funding partners mean that this can happen and we can look forward to the Citizens playing its part in our cultural and social life for many years in the future.”

The council’s additional funding was split between its Common Good and Community Asset funds.

It will allow work to begin on the 141-year-old B-Listed building, with its current condition said to be a risk for its long-term operation.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “I am pleased to be able to commit a further £0.5 million towards this transformational project for the Citizens Theatre, bringing the Scottish Government’s overall contribution to £6.5 million.

“This will both protect the building for future generations and make it more accessible, as it continues to be one of Scotland’s flagship producing theatres with a reputation for unique live performances.”

Dominic Hill, artistic director at the theatre, said: “We warmly welcome the news today that Glasgow City Council has approved an additional £1 million of funding for the Citizens Theatre’s redevelopment project.

“The council has worked tirelessly with us in the planning and fundraising for the project and these vital funds alongside additional support of £0.5million from the Scottish Government and £282,000 from Historic Environment Scotland give us the green light to allow the project to proceed.

“Our home in the Gorbals has served communities in Glasgow for over 140 years, and this project will transform the experiences of audiences and participants for many generations to come.

“We are extremely grateful to Glasgow City Council and all of our funders for their continued support.”

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