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HLF agrees £15m towards Burrell Collection refurb

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The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has handed £15million towards the proposed revamp of Glasgow’s cultural showpiece - Barry Gasson Architects’ Burrell Collection

The award comes less than two months after Glasgow City Council approved £4.91million in capital funding to pay for development work on the Pollok Park building, which opened in 1983.

The authority also pledged to begin the search for a design team to oversee the prize project.

Gasson’s building houses a bequest of 9,000 pieces of fine art and other artefacts, made to the city by Sir William Burrell in 1944. It includes a substantial quantity of Chinese art, late gothic and early Renaissance art, historical items associated with royals, and what is described as one of Europe’s finest collections of work by French artist Edgar Degas.

Current plans would see the Category-A listed building recieve a new roof, high-performance glazing, two new floors of exhibition space, and the opening of its basement stores. A new visitor entrance, café, and learning area would also be created.

The project, expected to cost between £60m and £66m, would result in a four-fold expansion in display space, allowing 90% percent of the 9000-item collection’s objects to go on display.

Colin McLean, head of the HLF in Scotland, said the collection building was one of the nation’s greatest examples of postwar architecture and a ‘cultural jewel’.

‘The Burrell Collection was one of the greatest gifts ever given to a city and the seed that helped Glasgow grow into the thriving cultural centre it is today,’ he said.

‘Thanks to National Lottery players, we are delighted to support plans to breathe new life into it so that it can continue to be a place of joy and inspiration for local, national and international visitors for many years to come.’

Glasgow City Council is expected to fund up to half of the remaining contribution to the refurbishment programme with the remaining funding to be sought through donations.

The collection is expected to close next year and reopen in 2019.

Previous story (AJ 30.3.2015)

Glasgow set to begin search for Burrell Collection design team

Glasgow City Council will launch a bid to find a project management-led design team for the refurbishment of Barry Gasson Architects’ Burrell Collection building if a funding package is approved later this week

Members of the council’s executive committee are being asked to approve £4.91m in capital spending to pay for development work on the display designs at the building in Pollok Park on the outskirts of Glasgow.

A report to Thursday’s meeting said the overall project was expected to cost between £60 million - £66 million and would see the Category A-listed building retain its current architectural footprint, but include a major overhaul of the roof, building fabric, interior and plant.

City culture and sport body Glasgow Life said the building, which opened in 1983, was in ‘urgent need’ of refurbishment as some of its galleries had already been closed because of the danger of damage to collection objects and paintings as a result of water ingress.

It added that the work would result in expanded display space that would see 90 per cent of the 9,000-item collection on show, a four-fold increase from the current level.

Glasgow Life said that the tenders would be sought for a project management team after the design-development funding package had been approved.

The report to councillors said the plan was to appoint a ‘project management-led design team’ to develop the concepts for the building and the displays.

Councillor Archie Graham, chair of Glasgow Life and depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said the refurbishment plan would result in a better home for William Burrell’s bequest.

‘Sir William devoted more than 75 years of his life amassing one of the world’s finest, single personal collections – and he gave it all to Glasgow,’ he said.

‘We have a moral duty to protect and enhance what is undoubtedly the jewel in our cultural crown by providing a newly refurbished home which is worthy of its world-class status.’

The collection includes a substantial quantity of Chinese art, late gothic and early Renaissance art, historical items associated with royals, and what is described as one of Europe’s finest collections of work by French artist Edgar Degas.

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