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Bennetts Associates' new facade incorporating the original roof statues Citizens Theatre in 1977 The auditorium in 1977 Citizens Theatre in 2012 Citizens Theatre in 2011
13 Jun 2014

Bennetts Associates £16.5m redevelopment of Glasgow's Citizens Theatre has moved a step closer to realisation, thanks to £4.9m in funding from the Heritage Lottery Funding.

Citizens Theatre, one of Scotland's oldest theatres has secured £4.9m of Heritage Lottery Funding for its restoration and redevelopment by Bennetts Associates. The funding, which includes a £500,000 grant to help the theatre in taking the project to the next stage of the application process, brings the total amount raise to £10.4m of the total £16.5m required.

Opened in 1878, the Glasgow community theatre helped launch the careers of well-known actors such as Rupert Everett, Gary Oldman, Helen Baxendale and Alan Rickman. Though subject to small-scale extensions and developments over the years, the original Victorian auditorium features the most complete working Victorian machinery in the UK.

Bennett Associates will revamp the auditorium and other historical parts of the building, while stripping back the more recent additions. The practice will also add a contemporary foyer, learning and rehearsal studios, workshops and an administration hub. Additionally, catering facilities will be updated and a lift will be installed with access to all levels. Viewing windows will allow the public to appreciate the historic machinery and auditorium.

Original rooftop statues of William Shakespeare, Robert Burns and the Four Muses will be repositioned behind glass in the contemporary foyer, looking out from the new façade.

"The theatre's heritage is at the centre of our design proposals, and will be revealed in new ways alongside much needed new foyer, rehearsal, education and studio spaces," says Alasdair Gordon, project architect and associate director at Bennetts Associates' Edinburgh office.

"All parties involved have a shared vision to create a landmark building for the community and this vital funding brings us one step closer to realising that vision."

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