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Work begins on next stage of Abbey Theatre's €80 million redevelopment plan

The building in which the National Theatre is housed is over 50 years old.

Abbey Theatre
Abbey Theatre
Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

WORK CAN NOW commence on the detailed appraisal stage of the redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Culture Minister Josepha Madigan has announced. 

The building in which the National Theatre is housed is over 50 years old and is widely recognised as deficient in the facilities it provides for artists, audiences and staff and in terms of its energy efficiency.

A capital plan from the Department of Culture provides for an indicative investment of €80 million for this redevelopment plan. 

The Department said the redevelopment “will honour the theatre’s history and legacy, whilst matching the national theatres of other European capital cities”.

The detailed appraisal will see the Abbey Theatre prepare the documentation required under the Public Spending Code. The theatre will now procure expertise to assist in this task. 

The Abbey Theatre, also known as the National Theatre of Ireland, first opened its doors to the public in 1904.

It was founded by Nobel Laureate William Butler Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory and has played a vital role in the literary, social and cultural life of Ireland.

The mission of the Abbey Theatre is to imaginatively engage with all of Irish society through the production of ambitious, courageous and new theatre in all its forms.

“We are delighted to receive approval to move into the next stage of planning for a new Abbey Theatre for the artists and audience of Ireland,” Abbey Theatre directors Graham McLaren and Neil Murray said. 

“Our ambition is to build a major new cultural centre in the north inner city, on a site which incorporates our present site at the junction of Abbey Street and Marlborough Street, and extends to open out onto the River Liffey,” they said. 

“The space will be a destination for artists to create and collaborate and an accessible hub of activity, for the public to experience, throughout the day and evening.” 

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