Glasgow & West Scotland

Council backs cash for £66m Burrell Collection revamp

The Burrell Collection building in Pollok Park Image copyright Glasgow Life
Image caption The Burrell Collection building in Pollok Park was opened in 1983

Almost £5m in funding has been approved to kick start plans for a £66m revamp of Glasgow's famous Burrell Collection.

The redevelopment will see the building which houses the priceless collection refurbished and extra floor space added to quadruple the number of exhibits.

Glasgow City Council's executive committee has approved £4.91m of funding to take the project forward.

The revamp will see the Burrell Collection close to the public early next year and reopen in 2019.

The collection bears the name of shipping entrepreneur Sir William Burrell, who died in 1958, and left his thousands of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and stained glass to Glasgow.

Building 'deteriorating'

A specially-commissioned building to display a portion of the collection was opened in Pollok Park in 1983.

However, the A-listed structure is now in urgent need of repair and redevelopment plans have been drawn up.

A report that went before the council's executive committee on Thursday stated: "The deteriorating fabric of the building is endangering the security of the collection.

Image caption The collection has been affected by leaks in recent years

"The building has suffered from issues with the roofing system over a period of years and significant leaks have formed.

"Although remedial repairs have been carried out in recent years, a major overhaul is required to secure the integrity of the building fabric and the protection of the collection."

When complete, the project would open three floors of exhibition space - including the basement which is currently only used by staff.

Public fundraising

It would also mean about 90% of the 9,000-piece collection could be put on display - about four times what is currently shown.

The redevelopment is expected to cost between £60m and £66m.

Up to half of this will be met by Glasgow City Council with the remainder coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and a public fundraising campaign.

Image copyright Glasgow Museums
Image caption Sir William Burrell left his priceless collection to Glasgow

Councillors on the executive committee have now approved £4.91m of funding, which will be add to £1m HLF cash, to allow the development phase of the project to proceed.

The museum will now close early next year and reopen in 2019 once the revamp has been completed.

During that time, some of the exhibits will go on loan - against the wishes of Sir William Burrell.

He gifted the collection to Glasgow with a condition they were never loaned, apparently fearing that they may be damaged in transit.

MSPs voted last year to relax that restriction, paving the way for the famous collection to go on tour while redevelopment work is completed.

Loaning out items from the collection will also bring in much-needed revenue.

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