Glasgow's famed and beloved Citizens Theatre has seen better days, the head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, has said.
Not, it must be said, on the stage, where the theatre's productions have undergone a thrilling renaissance under artistic director Dominic Hill, underlined by a staging of Crime and Punishment that won a series of plaudits at the recent Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland. No, Colin McLean was instead referring to the fabric of the famous building in Glasgow's Gorbals, which has been in need of modernisation for some time.
An ambitious £16.5 million plan is in place, with work slated to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2018. The theatre will retain its important Victorian heritage but be reborn for modern times, with improved accessibility and a renewed facade.
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Today's earmarked £5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund is a major boost, and cash has also been pledged by Glasgow City Council and Creative Scotland to take funds up to £10.4m. However, raising another £6m is not an easy task. If this transformation can be completed on time and on budget, it really will be a dramatic achievement worthy of applause.