BURRELL REFURBISHMENT PACKAGE BACKED BY GLASGOW CITY
Ambitious plans for a full refurbishment and redisplay of
the Burrell Collection took a step closer after Glasgow City Council approved
the next stage in funding for the development.
The move follows a major master planning exercise, which
outlined plans which will see more than 90 per cent of the 9,000-strong
collection on display (more than four times what is currently on display), the
basement stores opened to the public for the first time and a new, central core
which will greatly increase access to the many treasures collected by Sir
William Burrell. There will also be improved café and retail opportunities and
a new, civic events space outside.
The building which houses the Burrell
Collection is in urgent need of refurbishment. Galleries have been closed
because of danger of damage to objects and paintings as a result of water
ingress. Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and Burrell Renaissance have been
examining options for a refurbishment and redisplay of the collection –
securing its home for generations to come and honouring the city’s debt to Sir
William, who spent more than 75 years of his life amassing one of the world’s
finest, single personal collections.
The master plan has produced the first detailed estimated
costs for the project, with the figure expected to be in the region of £60 -
£66 million. The Council has been asked to fund up to 50 per cent of the total
cost, with the remainder split between the Heritage Lottery Fund (£15 million
application lodged), a fundraising campaign and grants from other public
The plans will see the Category A-listed building retain
its impressive architectural footprint and façade in Pollok Country Park, but
after the refurbishment, a major overhaul of the roof, building fabric,
interior and ageing plant, will create an entirely new experience for visitors.
The building will also be an exemplar of sustainability,
transforming it from a building that has a large carbon footprint, into an
energy efficient, modern museum. The refurbished building will meet a
significant portion of future energy requirements by using renewable sources,
both within the building and the wider country park.
Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life and
Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Sir William devoted more than 75
years of his life amassing one of the world’s finest, single personal
collections – and he gave it all to Glasgow. We have a moral duty to protect
and enhance what is undoubtedly the jewel in our cultural crown by providing a
newly refurbished home which is worthy of its world-class status.
“Glasgow is Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and the
Council’s decision to support these ambitious plans, demonstrates yet again the
city’s commitment to our outstanding cultural heritage.”
Sir Angus Grossart, the Chair of Burrell Renaissance,
said: “We have been working hard to open out the great potential of the Burrell
Collection and place Sir William’s great gift on a global stage. It is also of
great importance that we provide a home worthy of these great treasures. The
Council’s decision is yet another, very positive, step as we carry forward the
torch handed to us by Sir William and seek to place his extraordinary
collection within the international context which it deserves.”
Sir Peter Hutchison, who chairs the Burrell Trustees, said: “The
trustees very much welcome the forthcoming refurbishment, which will transform
the Burrell building and provide a fitting context for this extraordinary
collection. New gallery space will be created, a wider range of objects
displayed, facilities upgraded, and any structural defects, such as the roof,
remedied. This is a very heartening development – and one which I have no doubt
would have been met with welcome approval from Sir William.”
During any closure, an exhibition of objects will be on
display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum allowing continued access to
citizens and visitors alike. To unlock the great potential of the collection
and use it to promote Glasgow as one of the world’s great cultural cities, an
international tour will showcase the collection to some of the world’s finest
institutions, increasing awareness of Sir William’s gift and leveraging
opportunities for fundraising toward the cost of the refurbishment.
At a recent exhibition of some of the finest works at
Bonhams in London, Neil Macgregor, the Director of the British Museum, said
that the works on display were equal to any in the British Museum, National
Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum.
As well as committing to the overall funding profile and
estimated costs, the Council’s Executive Committee today (Thursday) approved an
initial £5 million in capital costs to progress the first stage of project,
allowing detailed design development, including intrusive surveys to assess the
true condition of the building and further detailed work on the visitor
proposition and exhibition designs. The detail developed in this phase will
allow for greater consultation with stakeholders and bring significant cost
certainty as the project progresses.
An application has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fun
for £15 million – with a decision expected to be announced in May. Once
confirmed, it is anticipated that the museum will close in early 2016 and
reopen in 2019.