Work on a £66 million overhaul to transform one of Scotland’s most prestigious art collections will get underway within months after the Heritage Lottery Fund gave the green light to the project.
A radical revamp of the home of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow will begin in the spring of next and is due for completion by 2020 after the project was awarded a £15 million grant.
Around 90 per cent of the 9000-strong collection donated to the city by the Glasgow-born shipping merchant and art collector Sir William Burrell in 1944 will be going on display in the new-look museum, compared to 20 per cent at present.
The HLF said the 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.”
The A-listed building in Pollok Country Park is said to be in “urgent need of refurbishment,” with some of the art treasures collected by Sir William removed for their own protection due to its deteriorating fabric, including water ingress.
The project will see the overhaul of its gallery spaces, collection stores opened to the public for the first, the creation of a new dedicated space for special exhibitions and a new outdoor events arena created.
David McDonald, chair of Glasgow Life, the trust which runs the Burrell Collection on behalf of the city council, said: "The Heritage Lottery Fund has supported the development of Glasgow Museums for almost two decades and its significant investment has played a vital role in the success and growth of the city’s cultural offer.
"With its support and commitment, the Burrell Collection is once again a catalyst for change, driving regeneration of the historic and cultural heritage of Pollok Country Park, greatly enhancing the wider cultural offer Southside of Glasgow and playing an important role in the city’s growing tourism offer by contributing to the economic impact it brings to the city.”
Seona Reid, chair of the Scotland committee of the HLF, said: "It is timely that in a year when we are celebrating Scotland’s History, Heritage and Archaeology, we are able to support such an important collection.
"It will be transformed so it can continue to be a place of joy and inspiration for local, national and international visitors for many years to come.”