Residents raise the roof for repairs

Camphill Gate is need of repairs.
Camphill Gate is need of repairs.

Residents of a historic building have come together to campaign to raise £1.2 million for vital repairs.

The B-listed Camphill Gate tenement in the Shawlands area needs major work to restore it to its former glory, including repairs to its glass cupolas, rooftop railings and guttering.

Residents of the 24 flats and the 12 shop units that make up the five-storey building have joined together to raise funds for the renovation through a host of events.

They have used the tenement’s unusual flat rooftop terrace to host secret gigs featuring RM Hubbert, Kathryn Joseph, Martha Ffion and Heir Of The Cursed.

During the Glasgow Open House Arts Festival in April last year, three of the flats turned themselves into gallery spaces to host exhibitions featuring work by Sarah J Stanley, Rachael Rebus, Josée Aubin Ouellette, Ann Nisbet, Allistair Burt and The People’s Bank of Govanhill.

It was also open to the public for the first time on Doors Open Day in September, attracting around 1000 visitors over the two days.

First Minister and local MSP Nicola Sturgeon has also visited.

She said: “Camphill Gate is a unique building with a great story behind it.

“At this critical point in its history, it’s fortunate that the building has such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of residents and businesses within it, taking forward their ambitious restoration and renovation plans.

“It is vital that such an important part of the Southside’s heritage is preserved and protected and I support them in their efforts.”

Residents have raised approximately £1,500 of the £1.2 million so far but are hopeful of securing grants which could cover 40-50 per cent of the cost.

Allistair Burt, of Camphill Gate Residents Association, said: “The roof terrace is a really unique space in the city.

“It has become a really popular communal space.

“In the summer, people go up there and chat and as a result of that we know all the neighbours in the three closes so we have a good community spirit.

“Everyone is very in favour of the work happening.

“There is a core group doing the volunteering but everyone is supportive of it going ahead and trying to raise funding, and as we have raised the profile of it people have started feeling they want to be a part of it.”

Mr Burt added: “The work needs to get done. The building is deteriorating quite significantly quite quickly and we’ve reached the point where things are escalating.”

Camphill Gate tenement was built in 1906 by architect John Nisbet and builder John McTaggart and is thought to be the first tenement in Glasgow to be built with fireproofing.

At five storeys it is unusually tall for a tenement and has a rooftop drying green because there was not enough room for a large enough one behind it.

Architect Fiona Sinclair, who produced a report on the building for the residents, said: “It’s great that there is a group of tremendous residents who really care about the building and they are incredibly keen to bring it back into good order.”