Citizens Theatre confirmed today (Tuesday November 21) it will move out of its historic home in the Gorbals in June 2018 for two years while the theatre undergoes a £19.4 million redevelopment.

Thanks to a partnership with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life, audiences and Citizens Learning participants will still be able to enjoy Citizens Theatre’s ground breaking productions and inspiring education and community work at Tramway and Scotland Street School Museum. The Citizens also intends to collaborate with other Glasgow venues, as well as taking its work further afield across Scotland, during the period of closure.

The building, which is leased by Citizens Theatre Company from Glasgow City Council, needs to close to allow builders to move on-site to undertake the essential building works that will transform its Victorian theatre into a 21st century building fit for purpose. The new building has been designed by architectural practice Bennetts Associates and the theatre will re-open to the public in autumn 2020.

The first Citizens show to be produced at Tramway will open in September 2018 and the Citizens Learning team will run their wide range of activities, including drama classes for all ages, from Scotland Street School Museum. The theatre’s administrative team will also move into backroom office space at this venue.

In addition, the theatre’s production facilities will move across the road from the theatre into the former Skills Academy building, which is owned by City Building/Glasgow City Council, in Laurieston.

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.

"We hope our audiences and participants will find our offer thrilling and appealing, as they follow us on our journey, as we temporarily move out of the theatre and present an exciting programme of work from different venues across the city."

Councillor David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: "We’re delighted to be able to support the transformation of one of Scotland’s iconic cultural institutions.

"The Citizens Theatre is rooted in the local community and it is absolutely fitting that while the venue is being refurbished, its ambitious programme of live theatre, creativity and learning, will continue across our venues, inspiring audiences from near and far."

The theatre recently launched its ‘We Are Citizens’ public fundraising campaign which will inspire, engage, and encourage others to help raise £1.6 million for the building redevelopment.

For more information please go to:

- ENDS -

For more information, interviews and design images please contact:

Kirstie Cusick, Head of Communications (Capital) on 0141 429 5561 or

Christopher Silver, Press and Marketing Officer on 0141 418 6253 or

Suzanne Rough, Communications Officer – Museums and Collections, Glasgow Life on 0141 287 3575 or

Paul Kane, Public Relations Officer, Development and Regeneration Services/City Deal, Glasgow City Council on 0141 287 5387 or


The Citizens Theatre is an iconic venue and theatre company based in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. It has been one of Scotland’s flagship producing theatres since 1945. Fondly known as the Citz, the company is led by Artistic Director, Dominic Hill and Executive Director, Judith Kilvington. It presents a world-class, contemporary repertoire based on bold new interpretations of classic texts. As its name suggests, it produces work that can enhance and transform the lives of people of all ages, cultures and social backgrounds through performance and participation that everyone can access. The theatre has extensive backstage workshop facilities where it makes its own sets and costumes. The Category B listed building opened as His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878and was also known as the Royal Princesses Theatre until the building was first leased to James Bridie’s Citizens Theatre Company in 1945.The theatre retains many of its Victorian architectural features; it is the only theatre in Scotland still to have its original machinery under the stage and features an original Victorian paint frame and related fly system, which is still used today to paint backcloths.

The Citizens Theatre Company has already successfully secured £11.5m in pledges towards the redevelopment project from Glasgow City Council, Scottish Government (Culture Budget, Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Environment Scotland), The Robertson Trust and a variety of other trusts and individuals. Applications (Round 2) to Creative Scotland for £1.5m and Heritage Lottery Fund for £4.8m have been submitted with decisions due in December and January. The full project will not commence until the outcome of these submissions is known.

Glasgow Life is a charity which delivers services to both citizens and visitors to the city, providing opportunities through culture, sport and learning. Last year, more than 18 million attendances were recorded at venues, events and festivals – up more than one third since 2007. Some 2,600 staff and 2,200 volunteers deliver services across 160 Glasgow Life venues.

Glasgow Life has responsibility for:

  • Managing nine award-winning civic museums, including Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Riverside Museum and the Burrell Collection as well as the Kelvin Hall;
  • The Glasgow Club – Scotland’s largest health and fitness network – including landmarks such as the Emirates Arena and Tollcross International Swimming Centre;
  • The Mitchell Library and 32 Community Libraries, as well as community facilities across the city and a significant learning programme;
  • Programming world-class music in venues such as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, incredible art and exhibitions at Tramway and a number of cultural events, such as Celtic Connections, the Mela, the World Pipe Band Championships and the Merchant City Festival, among others;
  • Leading partners in the delivery of Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023; positioning the city as a vibrant, first-choice destination for leisure and business tourists;
  • Managing the city’s destination marketing and implementing the award-winning PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand;
  • Managing Glasgow’s Convention Bureau, which attracts more than 500 conferences to the city each year.

Glasgow Life helped to deliver the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships, Davis Cup ties, the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships and the Total BWF World Badminton Championships 2017.

Looking ahead, Glasgow Life is supporting delivery of the inaugural 2018 European Championships – a major multi-sport event in partnership with Berlin – the European Indoor Athletics Championships 2019 and the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship.

For more information, visit

Return to Press