A fresh appeal to renovate Glasgow’s Winter Gardens – which has been closed to the public for three years – has been issued by the city’s Conservative group.
Calton councillor Robert Connelly is urging Glasgow City Council to submit a bid for UK Government Levelling Up funds in order to address the “crisis conditions” at the Glasgow Green attraction.
It comes after photos released earlier this month showed the east end attraction to be in a severe state of disrepair, with a once-thriving ecological ecosystem having been replaced by rotting vegetation and dead plant life.
The first tranche of successful levelling up bids were announced in October and included a £13m investment to transform Pollok Stables and Sawmill into a net-zero heritage centre.
Councillors and campaigners are now asking the council to include renovation of the Winter Gardens in future funding applications in order to save the cherished community institution.
Glasgow City Council says the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens has always been on the list of potential projects for funding. However, councillor Connelly is asking for action to be taken sooner rather than later.
He said: “The leader of the council promised that the Winter Gardens would be maintained for the community of the east end of Glasgow.
“The Winter Gardens [is an] ideal candidate for the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, which is investing £4.8bn across the UK, and I’m calling on Glasgow City Council to put a bid into this for the Winter Gardens.
“The Levelling Up Fund could see significant investment brought to this venue to return it to the world-class status that it deserves.
“It would be neglect of the highest order if the SNP let this opportunity to invest in the Winter Gardens pass the city by.”
Glasgow City Council has confirmed they will apply for funding and the process of deciding which bids to submit is something that members are directly involved in.
A spokesperson for the council said the funding call for the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will refurbish both to restore the building’s potential.
The spokesman said: “The premises has already been identified for a potential bid to the fund – but the Government has yet to publish details of the second funding round.”
An update will be provided to members in due course.
By local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter