Glasgow School of Art's fire-affected neighbours set to return within days

More than 450 tonnes of steel scaffolding have been erected around Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building.
More than 450 tonnes of steel scaffolding have been erected around Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building.
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Businesses affected by this year's Glasgow School of Art fire are set to be allowed to return to their buildings - four months after the devastating blaze.


Work to stabilise the west gable end of the world-famous Mackintosh Building is due for completion by the middle of this month.

More than 450 tonnes of steel scaffolding have been erected around the “Mack,” which the art school has vowed to rebuild according to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s original 19th century plans.

A steel cage is also being erected over a tower, while a protective screen will be erected on Scott Street to allow public access while work on the building is ongoing.

It is hoped the Centre for Contemporary Arts, which previously warned was facing closure due to continued uncertainty, and other affected businesses may be able to return from 15 October. However Glasgow City Council said it would not unable to confirm a date until all work is completed and it is satisfied surrounding streets are safe.

It is hoped that repair work on the Reid Building, on the other side of Renfrew Street, will be completed in time for Christmas, allowing traffic to return to the thoroughfare for the first time since the fire.

Professor Tom Inns, director of the art school, said: “The stabilisation work on the Mackintosh Building is now almost complete. Weather permitting, we expect the work on the west gable to be completed by 14 October.

“We’ve been working particularly closely with the CCA to make sure that the damage to its gallery ceiling can be repaired and they can re-commission the building, both for cultural tenants and public events, as soon as possible.
“We know that there are on-going concerns about road access in and around Garnethill.

“Once the work on the Mack stabilisation is finished our next priority will be taking down the damaged rain screen from the Reid Building so that the council can move to reopen Renfrew Street to single lane traffic before the worst of the winter weather sets in.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “October 14 is the revised date the art school gave its neighbours for the completion of work to stabilise the building last month.

“When this work is complete, we expect to be able to reduce the cordon enough to reopen a footpath at Scott Street, allowing businesses, including the CCA, to safely reoccupy their premises. However, we need to be clear that a return date cannot be confirmed until we are certain that work will be complete and the site safe.”