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Council joins efforts to save Lighthouse centre


Glasgow council is pushing a rescue plan for the celebrated Lighthouse that would involve building a new bookshop, a café and expanding the role of Architecture + Design Scotland (A+DS)

The local authority is negotiating leasing the A-listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed building to Culture and Sport Glasgow, who would then manage the centre.

An additional architecture and design bookshop and a top floor café could be part of the deal. Two new exhibitions looking at the history of Glasgow are also proposed.

Culture and Sport Glasgow will decide whether to take on the lease in the next month and if willing could be running the centre by September.

Councillor George Ryan, Glasgow City Council’s executive member for business and the economy said: ‘This new financial year, 2010 to 2011, will be a still  be a transitional period for the Lighthouse but we have already accepted conference and event bookings for this year and are buoyed by the considerable support we have received from the architecture and design community across Scotland.

‘Long-term we are keen to see the Lighthouse operate on a fully commercial basis and we are currently developing a year business plan that will cover the next three years.

‘The Council and a reference group of people from within the Scottish creative industry community are helping us to evaluate a range of measures including introducing incubator units for fledgling design companies, gallery and exhibition space , a new bookshop and housing commercial tenants.’

The council is working with the director of Glasgow School of Art on the long term vision and business plan for the Lighthouse.

Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) in November announced it would take on Lighthouse staff and programmes.

The world-famous centre went into administration in August 2009.

The centre’s operational costs are close to £500,00 a year.

Previous story (AJ 11.11.09)

A+DS steps in to rescue Lighthouse programmes

Architecture + Design Scotland (A+DS) is set to take on the staff and programmes previously run by the Lighthouse Trust, including its education and ACCESS national programme

The Scottish design watchdog will also look after Sust – the sustainable design programme – and its website.

A+DS chairman Raymond Young welcomed the move:‘We are delighted to be able to play a part in ensuring that the Lighthouse remains as a centre for architecture and the city.

‘We welcome the addition of the expert staff teams in Sust, the education programme and the national programme to our existing highly skilled team.’

The Lighthouse Trust, which went into administration in August after amassing £250,000 debt, is now being wound down. However, the A-listed Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed building that house the charity will continue as Scotland’s national centre for architecture and design.


Readers' comments (4)

  • A match made in heaven.

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  • Indeed Roger, much like you and Peter W, both a couple of comedy trailblazers, like Hale and Pace.

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  • That's possibly the dullest best-man speech I've heard: totally lacking in wit. There is, however, a rather more serious issue here. A+DS has struggled to find an appropriate role and has been radically overhauled in recent months, though the effects of that overhaul are, as yet, unclear. The Lighthouse, as a building, is poorly located, overburdened with space and the captive of a contemporaneous and overblown view of Glasgow as a design equal with Milan and Barcelona . So, in true British bureaucratic fashion, two rudderless entities are conjoined as if, somehow, the sum of the parts might add up to approximately the sum of the parts. It's simply not good enough.

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  • Its less "Glesga wae Style" and mair the "bland leading the bland..." in ones humblest of opinions.

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