State, Tallinn to cooperate on €20 million development of City Theatre

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), Minister of Culture Indrek Saar (SDE) and acting mayor of Tallinn Taavi Aas (Center) on Tuesday visited Tallinn City Theatre, the theater complex located in Tallinn's historic Old Town, the development of which will be funded during the 2018-2020 period by both the state and the city with an estimated €20 million.

For a long time now, Tallinn City Theatre has been in need of up-to-date work spaces and performance areas, including a grand hall, and the development of the theater complex will now be possible with the cooperation of the Estonian government and the city of Tallinn, Ratas said according to a government press release - writes

"The agreement we reached in the government enables us to move toward the goal of complething the grand hall of the City Theatre in the coming years," the prime minister said. "The city of Tallinn will also make a large contribution toward the renewal of the complex."

Saar recalled that the saga of the theater's grand hall goes back decades. "Many of the founding members of the then-Youth Theatre who came from the second graduating class of the Drama School never saw the extension of the theater," he noted. "I am glad that a big step has been taken toward fulfilling this dream and that the government and the city of Tallinn have joined forces to achieve this."

Cooperation between the city and the government will provide a historic opportunity for carrying out several projects that have been on hold for quite some time, Aas said. According to him, construction work on the City Theatre has been long-awaited, and its chances of being realized have never been greater.

"It is of paramount importance to ensure that the building of the City Theatre is designed according to the wishes of theater people, and that they will get to enjoy great working conditions there in the future," he added.

Estonia's 2018 state budget, which was approved by the government last week and submitted to the Riigikogu, allocates €700,000 for designing the theater complex. The government has also reached an agreement in principle to fund the extension of Tallinn City Theatre with an additional €9 million over the next two years. The remaining funding will come from the city of Tallinn, which will support the development of the premises in its Old Town, providing substitution premises as well as the development of the theater's workshops.

Goals involved in the development of Tallinn City Theatre include completing the design process of the theater complex in 2018 and completing construction during 2019-2020. The final cost of the building complex will be determined after the terms of reference and plan have been completed.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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