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Transformative Partnership with William Syson Foundation

We are thrilled to announce a groundbreaking new funding partnership with the William Syson Foundation.

This exciting collaboration will see the Foundation contributing £45,000 annually over the next three years, amounting to a total of £135,000. This is a significant milestone, as it marks the first time the William Syson Foundation has committed to multi-year funding for a performing arts organisation.

Earlier this month members of the Syson Foundation, Jonathan Syson (Chair), Roberta Doyle (Trustee), Hazel Wotherspoon (Foundation Manager) and Brynley Dowies (Grants Manager) joined Alex McGowan (Chief Executive), Elly Goodman (Community Drama Artist) and Graham Sutherland (Technical Director) from the Citizens Theatre on the site of the redevelopment to discuss the investment.

A group of people wearing PPE on a tour of the Citizens Theatre building redevelopment.
Johnathan Syson and Elly Goodman on tour of the Citizens Theatre

The Citizens Theatre’s Participate programme, renowned for its extensive community engagement efforts, will benefit immensely from this funding boost. The additional resources will enable the theatre to expand and enhance its initiatives, building on the success of its previous work with learning disabled adults and children.

The funding will ensure the theatre remains a vibrant cultural and civic hub, welcoming and inclusive to all members of the community.


A classroom. A group of school children are sitting on the floor with five teachers.

Over the next three years, the Citizens Theatre aims to develop pivotal new programmes designed to engage individuals who might never have considered participating in the arts. The focus will be on social inclusion, ensuring the theatre is at the forefront of community engagement.

The Participate projects will concentrate on four key areas:

  • Adults: Offering a rich and varied programme that includes sociable drop-in groups, regular workshops, and community shows, catering to a wide range of interests and abilities.
  • Young People: Nurturing the creativity, skills, and resilience of the next generation through regular classes for learning disabled young performers and career development opportunities for care-experienced young people.
  • Education: Providing creative opportunities for students and educators across primary and secondary schools, as well as further education institutions, to inspire and foster a love for the arts.
  • Community Residencies: Building connections with external organisations to reach groups who might not otherwise engage with the theatre, fostering a sense of inclusion and community.
Two people standing in front of a small audience with their backs to the camera. They are wearing large hats and have their arms in the air. The audience are all clapping and cheering enthusiastically.
Two women hugging.

The theatre is more committed than ever to making the arts accessible and enjoyable for everyone. With the support of the William Syson Foundation, the Citizens Theatre is poised to continue its legacy of community engagement and cultural excellence.

Stay tuned for more updates on the exciting developments and opportunities coming to the Citizens Theatre as part of this transformative partnership.

About the Syson Foundation

The William Syson Foundation was established in 2012. An enthusiastic and long-time supporter of music and the visual arts, particularly in Scotland, William Syson’s objective in setting up the Foundation was to help provide opportunities for practice and enjoyment of the arts, and to assist and encourage the country’s next generation of artistic talent. The William Syson Foundation makes donations to the arts in all its forms, especially institutions, groups and activities based in and from Scotland. 


Young Co's Digital Content Creators

Young Co's Digital Content Creators

Fun and festivities at the Big Gorbals Fair

Fun and festivities at the Big Gorbals Fair

Kate Denby appointed as new Executive Director
Architect's rendering of the new redeveloped exterior of the Citizens Theatre. The building features a new facade with black cladding, neon pink lettering, and a row of statues on the roof.

Kate Denby appointed as new Executive Director