Glasgow's Theatre Royal set for £11m redevelopment
Work has started on an £11.5m project to redevelop one of Glasgow's best-known cultural venues.
The project will create a new entrance, spacious foyer and roof garden at the Theatre Royal on Hope Street.
Construction will take about 18 months but the theatre will close only for a three-month period in early 2014.
Scottish Opera, which has owned the venue since 1974, has raised 85% of funding. A campaign to meet the balance will be launched later this year.
The Heritage Lottery Fund announced on Sunday that it was awarding a grant of £850,000 towards the renovation costs.
Other funding has come from the Scottish government, Glasgow City Council and an array of Scottish and UK trusts and foundations, as well as support from individual donors.
Built in 1867, the theatre will be transformed with a new entrance on the corner of Cowcaddens Road and Hope Street.
This will accommodate new bars, a box office, cloakrooms, toilet facilities, hospitality suites and an education suite, while lifts will be installed for the first time.
Alex Reedijk, general director of Scottish Opera, said: "Our vision is to open up the theatre to become a social hub - somewhere people can gather with friends for great coffee during the day, enjoy outstanding performances, learn about the performing arts, and discover the wonderful heritage of this beautiful theatre."
The project to transform the theatre will be complete by the time Glasgow hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2014.