Cultural ‘jewel’ secures heritage funding boost

The Burrell Collection, Glasgow.  Picture Robert Perry The Scotsman  21st Jan 2014
The Burrell Collection, Glasgow. Picture Robert Perry The Scotsman 21st Jan 2014

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced this week its support for the refurbishment of the Burrell Collection building in Pollok Park.

The announcement pledged £15m funding towards the building’s estimated £66m revamp, including a grant of £1million to help GCC and Glasgow Life develop the project to the next stage of the application process.

One of Scotland’s finest examples of postwar architecture, the building which has housed the Burrell Collection since its opening in 1983, has been deemed no longer fit for purpose and needs a full refurbishment.

At present some 20 per cent of its exceptional collection, donated to the city by Sir William Burrell in 1944, is on display. Some items have been removed to protect them from damage. It is estimated that the total cost of the project will be between £60 million and £66 million, with GCCouncil committed to meeting up to half of the cost.

Designed for the 21st century, a new roof and high performance glazing will make the museum an exemplar of efficient energy management.

Two new floors of contemporary exhibition space will be created and the basement stores will also be opened so that up to 90 per cent of the 8,000 objects can be viewed by the public. Visitors will also see a new entrance, café, and learning space, with landscaped terraces at the front of the museum.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The Burrell Collection was one of the greatest gifts ever given to a city.”

Archie Graham, the council depute leader and chair of Glasgow Life, said: “The Burrell Collection is of international importance and the jewel in our cultural crown.”

Sir Angus Grossart, the Chairman of Burrell Renaissance, said: “It is key that we provide a home worthy of these incredible treasures and their influence.”