Cost of Glasgow School of Art overhaul to top £80m

A 3D scan of damage done by the fire to a section of the Glasgow School of Art. Picture: Hemedia
A 3D scan of damage done by the fire to a section of the Glasgow School of Art. Picture: Hemedia
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Glasgow School of Art is to spend £80 million overhauling its campus - more than twice as much as expected - in the wake of the blaze at its iconic Mackintosh Building.

A new £32 million campaign has been launched to meet the cost of restoring and upgrading the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed landmark, as well as taking over the nearby former Stow College building.

The scale of work planned for the campus in the next few years is much more extensive than previously announced by the art school - which unveiled a new £50 million building just weeks before the fire caused extensive damage to Mackintosh’s 1909 masterpiece, including the loss of its library.

GSA director Professor Tom Inns admitted the school had been taking time to “pause and reconsider” the future shape of its main campus. He said the scale of development planned will help accommodate a planned 25 per cent increase in student numbers by 2018.

READ MORE: 3D images reveal extent of Glasgow School of Art fire damage

Some £17 million has already been secured for the restoration of the Mackintosh Building, which went on fire while students were putting the finishing touches to end-of-year projects. The blaze in May 2014 was triggered by flammable gases from a canister of expanding foam.

The art school - which has previously won backing Brad Pitt, Peter Capaldi and Bryan Ferry - wants to raise a further £15 million from its new Mackintosh Campus Appeal. GSA now plans to relocate the fine art department from the Mackintosh Building ahead of its planned reopening in 2018. First year architecture, design and fine art students are expected to share the Mackintosh Building in future.

The cost of the work on the Mackintosh Building alone, recently estimated at up to £35 million, has soared to £51 million. This is being put down to an extensive overhaul of its east wing, which was largely unaffected by the fire. The remainder will be spent on the transformation of the old Stow College site, which the art school is about to snap up.

Professor Inns said: “The fire required us to pause and reconsider, but we are now moving forward to create a newly-extended campus with the restored Mackintosh Building at its heart. The acquisition of the former Stow College site is a fundamental element of our new estate development strategy.”