Kelvingrove Bandstand is Opened!
MOMENTOUS OCCASION: After around 15 years of closure Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre will be opened by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councilor Sadie Docherty at 10am on Thursday 29th May. The bandstand has undergone a major £2.1 million transformation by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust in partnership with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life, and will proudly be showcased to key stakeholders at Thursday’s launch event.
THE OPENING: This event will mark the (re)opening of this Glasgow landmark and will celebrate the achievements of all those that have worked hard to bring it back into use. The building will officially be opened by Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councilor Sadie Docherty cutting the ribbon at 10am. Key speakers will include; Patricia Chalmers MBE, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust’s Chairperson; Colin McLean, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland; Brian Devlin, Director of Land and Environmental Services, Glasgow City Council; and Jill Miller, Director of Culture at Glasgow Life. Some of the first few performers on the stage will be Brass, Aye (the New Orleans Dixie jazz community band with Glasgow style) and music performances from Hillhead High School and the Glasgow Gaelic school (Sgoil Ghaidlig Ghlaschu) helping to mark this momentous occasion.
THE BUILDING: A purpose-built entertainment facility, Kelvingrove Bandstand & Amphitheatre was built by the Glasgow Corporation Parks department in 1924. It is Category B listed and situated within Kelvingrove Park, a designed landscape of national importance which was laid out around part of the river Kelvin from 1852, with design contributions from Charles Wilson and Sir Joseph Paxton. The building is the only original bandstand left in Glasgow and one of only three with associated amphitheatres in Scotland. The Bandstand is of theatre-type design with the Amphitheatre’s terracing cleverly using the natural gradient of the land to provide seating for up to 3,000 people and 7,000 standing in its heyday. The building closed in 1999 and fell into serious disrepair, suffering from repeated acts of vandalism, with its condition described as ‘critical’ on the Scottish Buildings at Risk Register.
THE PROJECT: There have been a number of proposals over the years to find a sustainable future for this iconic venue and the local community have long campaigned for its reuse. In 2012, an agreed delivery plan, development funding and a partnership between Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, Glasgow City Council (the building’s owner) and Glasgow Life (the end user) enabled the project to proceed. A Design Team was appointed in November 2012 and work started on site in August 2013, which moved at pace to ensure the project was complete for Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games. The existing fabric and features of the original structure have been carefully conserved and repaired and sensitive interventions have made the building and site safe and accessible for modern day performers and audiences. Two modest, contemporary extensions to the rear of the Bandstand have enabled the introduction of a platform lift and enhanced facilities. Adaptations to the Amphitheatre include the introduction of a new cross aisle, two new gangways and improvements to the upper terracing to provide permanent concrete seating. A new ramped area at the top of the Amphitheatre has significantly improved accessibility. The pay boxes on Kelvin Way are a later addition and have been rendered and new ogee-style roofs to the original design have been built.
Pat Chalmers MBE, Chair of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust:
“Glasgow Building Preservation Trust is delighted to have been able to raise funding and be the delivery organisation for the restoration of this delightful historic building, giving the much loved outdoor venue a whole new lease of life for the next generation of audiences . Our Trust has been absolutely committed to finding ways to contribute to looking after Glasgow’s unique built heritage for the last 32 years.”
Lord Provost of Glasgow Sadie Docherty:
“This is a very exciting time. The Kelvingrove Bandstand is a much loved Glasgow landmark and its restoration is a great example of how working in partnership can bring out the best in a project."
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“The success of the recent Big Weekend shows how much Glasgow loves an outdoor concert. Thanks to the lottery playing public, Kelvingrove Bandstand can once again play its part in the cultural and civic life of the city providing a fantastic outdoor space for events for the Commonwealth Games and beyond.”
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust is a charity that works to rescue, repair, restore and rehabilitate historic buildings at risk across the city. We work in partnership with others to give redundant buildings a new purpose and return them to their communities. Now in our thirty second year, Kelvingrove Bandstand & Amphitheatre is our latest successful project.
The Trust makes a major contribution to Glasgow's regeneration through the preservation of its built heritage and organises the annual Doors Open Day event: Glasgow’s Built Heritage Festival
The Trust is lead by volunteer Board Members, and representatives of city Institutions (such as the STUC, The Merchants House, The Chamber of Commerce) who represent citizens commitment to Glasgow’s built environment legacy. The trust is generously supported by Glasgow City Council who view GBPT as part of the city toolkit.
The Trust works in partnership with City organisations and Local Community Organisations
More information on Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, past and present projects can be found at www.gbpt.org