Glasgow City Council has approved funding of up to £27.3 million toward the cost of the refurbishment and redisplay of the Burrell Collection. The Council has previously approved funding of £5.7 million taking its commitment to up to £33 million – half of the estimated £66 million cost of the project. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Council’s Executive Committee on Thursday (16 February).
Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “The Burrell Collection is a masterpiece and the refurbished and redisplayed museum will be one of Scotland’s finest cultural assets. Sir William’s great legacy has been described as the greatest gift a city has ever received and we have a moral duty to ensure it is housed in the finest of buildings. The decision taken by the Council demonstrates our commitment to that great legacy and working with our partners, we will unlock the great potential of the Burrell Collection.”
Before closure, only some 20 per cent of the exceptional collection was on display. Refurbishment plans will turn the building into an exemplar of sustainability, transforming it from a building with a large carbon footprint, into an energy efficient, modern museum.
In addition, more than 90 per cent of the 9,000-strong collection will be redisplayed with basement stores open to the public for the first time, and a new central core greatly increasing access to the many artworks.
The work to transform the Grade A listed building will also see the creation of a dedicated space for special exhibitions and the conversion of offices into galleries. The roof of the building will be completely overhauled, while landscaped terraces and civic space will link the museum with the stunning surroundings of Pollok Country Park.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £15 million to the project and the UK Government has also committed £5 million. A fundraising campaign is underway with a target of £15 million. The decision by the Council allows for procurement of the main contractor and it is anticipated that the refurbished museum will re-open in late 2020.