Glasgow’s People Palace and Winter Gardens to close ‘indefinitely’

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It has been announced that the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens in Glasgow Green are to close at the end of the year following concerns for public safety.

Estimates of around £7m have been suggested to bring the structures up to appropriate health and safety levels with Glasgow City Council set to close the Victorian glasshouse and surrounding structures at the end of the year.

It is understood that the main issues arise from the Winter Gardens, which date back to 1898, but as the fire escape from the People’s Palace requires access to the glasshouse, it will also have to close.

Home to a number of historic artefacts, it is thought that a number of proposals are being drafted to allow the People’s Palace to remain open, however, as of yet, no solution has been found.

All bookings for the venue have been suspended, but those already scheduled to take place will be allowed to go ahead as planned with no immediate safety risk thought to be an issue.

Employees at the council-run Winter Gardens are expected to be deployed elsewhere.

The contents of the building are thought to be staying put until the long-term plan is drawn up.

Councillor Robert Connelly, who is on the board of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, said the closure would have a negative impact on the local area saying: “The closure will have a massive impact on tourism in the area. People come to the area especially to visit both sites and I know locals regularly use it as well.

“It will be a big loss and hopefully one that can be avoided.”

A spokesman said: “The Winter Gardens will unfortunately have to close at the end of this year, due to concerns about the safety of the structure beyond that point. We are currently working on options to allow the People’s Palace to remain open independently of the gardens.

“At this stage, we do not know how long the Winter Gardens will remain closed. However, we estimate that investment of between £5m and £7.5m will be required to make it safe for public use.

“With that in mind, we are currently examining how we use both the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

“The aim is to secure a sustainable, long-term future for an iconic building in one of the city’s most loved spaces.

“A full report of the plans will be submitted to elected members and the relevant committee in due course.”

A spokeswoman for Visit Scotland said: “Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland will continue to work with local industry and businesses to develop and deliver innovative initiatives to continue to grow the visitor economy.”