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10 June 2014, 06:13
The planned redevelopment of a popular community theatre has been given a boost with the announcement of a £4.9 million lottery award.
Glasgow's Citizens Theatre in to undergo a major renovation, with improvements to the auditorium and a new foyer and rehearsal studios.
The exterior of the Citz, as it is known, will feature statues of Shakespeare, Robert Burns and the four Muses from the roof of the original building which opened in 1878.
It became home to the Citizens Theatre Company in 1945 and has since welcomed to its stage actors including Stanley Baxter, Gary Oldman and Alan Rickman.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced it has earmarked £4.9 million for the redevelopment, including £500,000 to help theatre officials develop the project to the next stage of the application process.
Theatre chair Adrienne Scullion said: "This is an important capital project for both the company and the city and with the announcement of HLF's funding we are a major step closer to realising our plans.
"The Citizens has always valued its place in the heart of the Gorbals and now, with the Laurieston regeneration project under way, it's the right time for us to invest in a more efficient, more sustainable building for future generations to enjoy.''
HLF head Colin McLean said: "The Citizens Theatre is held in great affection in Glasgow and far beyond, although I don't think anyone would disagree that it has seen better days.
"We are delighted to give our initial support to a project which will bring those better days back. We have a shared vision of the Citz becoming a place where friends can gather for a coffee, enjoy outstanding performances, learn about the performing arts, and discover the wonderful working heritage behind its scenes. It will reaffirm people's pride in the Citizens Theatre and in their community.''