HLF backs Burrell Collection refurbishment

Inside one of the galleries in the Burrell Collection
Inside one of the galleries in the Burrell Collection

Today, HLF’s UK Board announced support of £15million for the transformation of the Burrell Collection including the award of a grant of £1million to assist Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life in developing the project to the next stage of the application process.

One of Scotland’s finest examples of post-war architecture, the building which houses the Burrell Collection, is no longer fit for purpose and requires a full refurbishment and redisplay. At present some 20% of its exceptional collection, donated to the city by Sir William Burrell in 1944, is on display. Some items have been removed to protect them from damage. It is estimated that the total cost of the project will be between £60million and £66million, with Glasgow City Council committed to meeting up to half of the cost.

Designed for the 21st century, a new roof and high performance glazing will make the museum an exemplar of efficient energy management. Two new floors of contemporary exhibition space will be created and the basement stores will also be opened increasing access so that up to 90% of the 8,000 objects can be viewed by the public. Visitors will also benefit from a new entrance, café, and learning space, while landscaped terraces will be introduced at the front of the museum to link with its parkland setting and provide a venue for events.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The Burrell Collection was one of the greatest gifts ever given to a city and the seed that helped Glasgow grow into the thriving cultural centre it is today. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are delighted to support plans to breathe new life into it so that it can continue to be a place of joy and inspiration for local, national and international visitors for many years to come."

[quote=Colin McLean, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland]"The Burrell Collection was one of the greatest gifts ever given to a city."[/quote]

Councillor Archie Graham, the Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “The Burrell Collection is of international importance and the undoubted jewel in our cultural crown. We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has fully backed our ambitious plans for a full refurbishment and redisplay, which will massively increase access to some of the treasures which Sir William devoted his life in collecting.”

Sir Angus Grossart, the Chairman of Burrell Renaissance, said: “We have been working hard to liberate the great potential of the Burrell Collection and for Sir William’s great gift to be placed on a global stage. It is key that we provide a home worthy of these incredible treasures and their influence. We deeply appreciate the decision by the Heritage Lottery Fund to support this project which is a ringing endorsement of our plans.  It 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.”

Notes to editors

Heritage Grants applications are assessed in two rounds. A first-round pass is given when HLF has endorsed outline proposals and earmarked funding. A first-round pass may also include an immediate award to fund the development of the project. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second-round and as long as plans have progressed satisfactorily and according to the original proposal, an award for the project is confirmed.

Glasgow City Council has previously received major grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, the Riverside Museum and the Kelvin Hall project.

Further information

Burrell Collection: James Doherty, Communications Manager, Glasgow Life on 0141 287 5970, mobile: 07825 451 520.

Heritage Lottery Fund: Shiona Mackay on m: 07779 142 890, telephone: 01786 870 1638 or Katie Owen on 020 7591 6036, email: katieo@hlf.org.uk; Out of hours mobile: 07973 613 820.

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