15 September 2023

Message from our Chief Executive, Susan Deighan - Glasgow Life Annual Review

Headshot of a smiling person in an office. They are wearing glasses and a large colourful necklace.

As one of Scotland’s largest charities, Glasgow Life has enormous reach and a profound influence on the people who live in and visit our city.

We have just published the Glasgow Life Annual Review for 2022/23 which demonstrates, more than ever, that ours is a charity unlike any other – operating on a scale and with a reach that few charities in Scotland can match.

This year’s Annual Review focuses on the people who use our services; their voices are brought to life throughout the publication which features more case studies than ever before.

You can read the annual review at https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/about-us/annual-review

Our last operational year was the year people really reconnected with each other and rediscovered the joys of shared experiences through the programmes, experiences and events we deliver for the city.

Our museums enjoyed 3.5m visits; we reopened St Mungo Museum and The Burrell Collection welcomed hundreds of thousands of local and international visitors, including a special Royal opening from The King.

There were 2.7 million visits to our much-loved libraries and 30,000 attendances across our community learning and development activities.

Importantly, and in response to the cost-of-living crisis, our libraries and community centres supported the city’s Welcome Places initiative offering a warm, safe, and welcoming space for people throughout the winter.

Celtic Connections was named winner of the Outstanding Cultural Event prize at the 2022 Scottish Thistle Awards, and the team followed that with the return of a fully live and in-person festival celebrating Celtic Connections’ milestone 30th anniversary.

Our wider programme of annual major events, from Mela to Merchant City Festival and the World Pipe Band Championships was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people again.

Increased customer confidence meant our sports venues and outdoor facilities attracted nearly 4m visits; an increase of 1m on the previous year.

And such is the appeal of our cultural and sporting venues and attractions that we attracted more local, national and overseas visitors; boosting the city’s tourism economy and supporting thousands of jobs. 

Glasgow Convention Bureau was named the UK’s Best Convention Bureau for an incredible 16th year, with the team supporting the delivery of 280 conferences in the city, which attracted more than 84,000 delegates and generated over £100m for our economy.

All of this is made possible through the passion and dedication of our talented staff and volunteers, as well as the support of Glasgow City Council, the generosity of our funders and donors.

Our volunteers in particular play a vital role in supporting the programmes and events that Glasgow Life delivers.

The breadth of the work we deliver is made possible through many strong partnerships and collaborations. Everything we do builds networks and relationships with people and organisations that share our ambitions for the city and its citizens.

Access to a wide variety of quality cultural and sporting provision remains as important as ever and we continue to lobby at all levels for the positive impact we have at a local, national and international level.

This annual review celebrates our shared achievements and I would be delighted if you would share it with colleagues and friends to show them the difference Glasgow Life makes.


Susan Deighan

Chief Executive