A project to reimagine the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens in Glasgow has been awarded £850,000 worth of funding.
Glasgow Life, the charity that delivers culture and sport in the city, announced on Wednesday that the initial development funding had been secured, paving the way to a wider £7.5m award.
The funding boost will allow the project to restore the Glasgow Green building as a museum and community space to progress, protecting the cultural and heritage asset for future generations.
The project is expected to cost £35.9m with £2.9m already committed by Glasgow City Council and a further £11m to come from the local authority.
Glasgow Life will be working with public and private sector funders to secure the remaining investment.
An initial development phase is expected to take around 16 months and will see Glasgow Life focus on making the creating a “community-led museum and flexible space”.
Early consultation has suggested the changes could include better wayfinding, new accessible toilets, and spaces that support wellbeing such as a dedicated quiet space.
The operational services and fabric of the building will also be refurbished, improving the museum and glasshouse’s energy efficiency; with modern heating and cooling systems that will enhance its environmental performance.
A café and retail space will be created in the People’s Palace while the Winter Gardens will be transformed into a flexible events space.
Bailie Annette Christie, chair of Glasgow Life, said: “For 126 years the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens has been one of Glasgow’s most treasured spaces, but it is now in need of significant investment.
“This announcement of Heritage Fund support is wonderful and crucial to breathing new life into the museum. While there is still work to be done to secure additional external funding, we can now move forward with this exciting project to restore, re-imagine, and improve a much-loved cultural and historical asset.
“We will use all we have learned about engaging with communities, developing innovative digital technology, and designing accessible spaces, to celebrate the people of Glasgow and tell the city’s stories in a world-class, accessible, and sustainable museum. This will bring a wealth of social and economic benefits to the people in the East End of Glasgow and beyond.”
Eilish McGuinness, chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said she was “delighted” the organisation was supporting the project that would help “rediscover” the story of Glasgow.
“This initial support paves the way for an award of up to £7.5 million, which would be amongst the largest Heritage Fund awards made to a single project in Scotland,” she said.
“This reflects our new strategy to invest larger amounts in truly exceptional heritage projects across the UK, supporting our vision for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future.
“Glasgow is also one of the first of 20 places around the UK that will share in our £200m Heritage Places programme, announced last year.”
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