Public invited to help shape the future of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Public invited to help shape the future of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Citizens and the wider public are invited to share their views on the future of one of Glasgow’s most popular attractions, the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

A series of local events have been designed by Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council, who jointly manage the venue, in partnership with architecture firm New Practice, to capture the opinions and ideas of citizens and those with a passion for the museum.

The feedback will help inform future bids to secure funding from available national schemes. If successful, this will secure a significant proportion of the investment required to upgrade the much-loved museum and glasshouse; ensuring a sustainable, inclusive, and accessible future for these historic buildings.

The public can share their thoughts by completing an online survey, as well as attending ‘Out in the Open’, an outdoor event to be held at Glasgow Green on Saturday 11th June. Two public workshops will also be held next month.

Bailie Annette Christie, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:

The People's Palace and Winter Gardens is one of Glasgow’s most treasured spaces. It holds a special place in the hearts of Glaswegians and is much loved by visitors to the city. It has a proud reputation as the home of Glasgow’s social history; a museum that tells the city’s story, and where people can see something of their family’s life in the many wonderful displays on show.

As an historic building, substantial investment is required to secure the sustainable future of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. Together with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life is committed to preserving this invaluable heritage asset for future generations. We recognise the significant public affection that exists for both spaces and our approach will ensure local people can have a say in shaping their future.

The hugely successful refurbishment of The Burrell Collection shows the scale of our ambition to protect Glasgow’s outstanding cultural heritage. In partnership with others our focus is now firmly on ensuring People’s Palace continues to provide a fit-for-purpose home for these cherished, important collections.

Set in historic Glasgow Green, the iconic People’s Palace and Winter Gardens opened in 1898 as a centre for culture and entertainment that would build community spirit and promote the health and wellbeing of Glasgow’s citizens.

It was Glasgow’s first purpose-built museum and continues to be home to a wealth of historic artefacts, objects, photographs, prints and film, which provide a record of how Glaswegians lived, worked, and played in years gone by. The People’s Palace has always been and will continue to be, a place that inspires, entertains and educates.

In late 2021, New Practice was appointed by Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council’s Neighbourhood Regeneration & Sustainability team to create a plan for capturing the views of key stakeholders, the local community and the wider public regarding the future redevelopment of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, as part of the city’s intention to secure funding from available national schemes.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens has been recognised as a priority in Glasgow City Council’s Property and Land Strategy. An estimate of the works required to fully refurbish the museum and glasshouse as an integrated heritage and cultural destination suggests investment of approximately £25m is needed. This would secure the future of both buildings and bring them up to modern day standards by harnessing sustainable energy solutions.

This investment would be in addition to the £2.9m capital investment Glasgow City Council has allocated to support the restoration of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens in its 2022/23 budget.

A revitalised People’s Palace will also significantly enhance Glasgow’s role as Scotland’s cultural powerhouse and draw more visitors to the east of the city, boosting the local economy, while improved facilities will help to reduce ongoing operating costs and enhance potential revenue generation.

The online survey is open and you can share your views via the People’s Palace web page. 

Out in the Open is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens to learn more about the city’s commitment to this hugely important cultural asset and share their thoughts about what it means to them, whilst participating in some fun, family-friendly activities.

New Practice is also inviting people who live in the Calton ward, where People’s Palace and Winter Gardens is located, and surrounding areas to apply to attend two public workshops taking place on 28th and 29th June.

Collectively, the results from the survey, workshops and public engagement activities will inform the next steps in the project.

People’s Palace is open every day. The top floor is currently closed while repairs have been undertaken to a section of damaged plasterwork and will re-open once displays have been re-instated. It will reopen to the public on Monday 6th June.

For more information on People’s Palace, including the forthcoming public consultation activities, visit People's Palace web page