Glasgow School of Art: Repair bill may cost up to £35m

Glasgow School of Art fire The fire destroyed the library and much of the students' work

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The final cost of repairing Glasgow School of Art's fire-damaged Mackintosh building is likely to be between £20m and £35m, MSPs have been told.

The art school's director, Professor Tom Inns, told Holyrood's education and culture committee that the restoration would probably take up to four years.

He said the cost could be met by government, insurance and donations.

Meanwhile, a £750,000 fund will be made available to students to recreate works they lost in last month's fire.

The blaze broke out in the world-famous Mackintosh building on Friday 23 May.

Library destroyed

Students were putting the final touches to their end-of-year projects at the time.

The library was destroyed, but the Mackintosh Museum and the archives survived.

Firefighters managed to save about 90% of the iconic structure and about 70% of the contents. Many degree students, however, lost their work.

Members of the Scottish parliament's education and culture committee held a special one-off session on Tuesday to examine how the school, which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh more than a century ago, will be restored.

Fire damage incise the Mackintosh building The building was badly damaged but most of its structure and contents were saved

Prof Inns told MSPs: "We have been in discussion with the insurance company and a team of people appointed to deal with the immediate securing of the building, and the estimates are probably somewhere between £20-£35m.

"In terms of the actual accident - or the incident - itself that is still under investigation by the police and the fire service so they still haven't reported back on that.

"We have a good sense of what actually happened but there's certain details of that which are still unknown, and we will have to reflect on what actually happened with that particular incident."

It will take 12 to 18 months to reopen the east wing of the building and 36 to 48 months to reopen the west wing, Mr Inns said.

'Complex case'

He is "reasonably confident" they will be able to fully fund the restoration, he added.

"I say reasonably confident because there are unknowns in that because we have an insurance policy on the building - the building is well insured," he said.

"The insurance will cover certain things, it won't cover other things. Obviously it's a very complex insurance case.

"We will have to raise funds so we will be setting up a fundraising campaign, so I think if all of these things come together we will be able to cover the cost of that restoration.

Start Quote

These are truly exceptional circumstances and no student should have their chance of potentially flourishing career affected by this awful incident”

End Quote Michael Russell MSP Education Secretary

"I am an optimistic person."

He added: "We originally marked the fund at £1m, but bear in mind we marked that up on the Saturday after the fire but that was before we sat down and actually worked it out.

"We're going to formally launch the fund on Wednesday and we're looking to raise probably between £10m-£20m depending on what we will actually be needing to be reasonably comfortable with the situation.

"We've had some very generous contributions from individuals, one or two pledges from trusts and organisations but it's a bit too early to say exactly what that is.

"But I think we can be reasonably confident that if we worked that well and effectively we would be able to raise the funding."

Prof Inns said the Scottish government had said it would match-fund up to £5m to support the restoration, but there had been no more detail from the UK government.

Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon said the UK government had said it was waiting for detail before it would make a contribution "in the millions if necessary".

Prof Inns said that the fire broke out as the deadline approached for students assessments.

'Mitigating circumstances'

"The assessment process I think was going to get frozen at 5pm that Friday afternoon and that was when all the work was going to be inside the degree show spaces and then the assessment teams would be going in on the Monday," he said.

Prof Inns said that all 102 students affected had since been assessed under "mitigating circumstances" and awarded their degrees.

The committee also heard that the Scottish government had contributed £750,000 towards the art school's Phoenix Bursary scheme to help students affected by the blaze to recreate lost work.

The bursaries, along with donations to the school, will help fund affected students' short-term living costs, academic supervision and the provision of studio space.

Earlier, Education Secretary Michael Russell said: "As well as doing very serious damage to one of Scotland's most iconic buildings, last month's fire put the future opportunities available to some of Scotland's most talented young artists in doubt.

"The Scottish government has pledged to help the school through this very difficult period and I am very pleased to offer financial aid for their final year students.

"These are truly exceptional circumstances and no student should have their chance of potentially flourishing career affected by this awful incident."

The education and culture committee heard evidence from Prof Inns, Sam De Santis, the president of Glasgow School of Art Student Association, along with Diana Murray, joint chief executive and Ranald MacInnes, head of heritage management from Historic Scotland, which will play a leading role in the salvage, storage and restoration of the building.

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  85.  
    12:13: 'Utter confidence in story'

    The Scottish editor of The Times, Angus Macleod, told the BBC the newspaper stood by its story about Usain Bolt.

    "We stand by this story 100%.

    "We have utter confidence in this story," he said.

    The paper quote Bolt as saying he was "not really" having fun in Glasgow. The sprinter took to later to say the report was "nonsense".

    Copy of today's Times newspaper
     
  86.  
    12:01: Millar Time

    Team Scotland tweets: "Cycling: We have David Millar (@millarmind) - bring on the Time Trial tomorrow. #GoScotland"

    Cyclist David Millar
     
  87.  
    11:49: Muir withdraws from 800m Kheredine Idessane BBC Scotland

    Scotland's Laura Muir has withdrawn from today's heats of the 800m.

    Laura Muir after the final of the 1,500m at Glasgow 2014

    Muir was due to go in the fourth and final heat at 12:20, but is understood to be disappointed and upset following last night's 1500m final in which she appeared to be clipped by another athlete with around 100m to go when she was in contention for a medal. She ended up in 11th place.

     
  88.  
    11:37: 'Take Mr Bolt at his word'

    The chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mike Hooper, told this morning's Games briefing he was "very pleased" with the way Usain Bolt had responded to allegations he had been disparaging about Glasgow 2014.

    He added: "We take Mr Bolt at his word."

    The Olympic 100m champion took to Twitter earlier to deny a report in The Times newspaper that he was "not really" having fun in Glasgow.

    Mike Hooper
     
  89.  
    Man detained at athletes' village 11:24:

    A man has been detained by police following an early morning disturbance at the Commonwealth Games athletes' village in Glasgow.

    The Glasgow 2014 athletes' village

    Police Scotland said the 30-year-old was currently in custody following the incident, which took place at the site in Dalmarnock, in the city's east end, at about 06:00 BST on Wednesday.

     
  90.  
    11:12: Hockey - England beat Scotland

    In the women's hockey Scotland were beaten 1-2 by England.

    Scotland threw everything at the "Auld Enemy" in the second half as they tried to keep their medal hopes alive but England hung on to make it through to the semi-finals.

     
  91.  
    11:10: Raising the roof

    The BBC's Kevin Keane tweets: "Roof being raised at wrestling as England's George Ramm takes on Scotland's Viorel Etko. #Glasgow2014"

    England's George Ramm takes on Scotland's Viorel Etko at the wrestling
     
  92.  
    10:45: Female athletes 'phenomenal'

    Scotland's Commonwealth Games minister has praised the performance of Team Scotland's women.

    Shona Robison pointed out that the nation's sportswomen had already won more medals than at any other Commonwealth Games, 46% of the total haul so far.

    She said: "I'm enormously proud of these women. They are phenomenal role models and I'm absolutely convinced that they will inspire a new generation of Scottish female athletes to take up sport.

    "The eyes of the world's media are on our sporting heroes and I'm certain this will continue beyond the Games."

     
  93.  
    BBC Scotland Live - your views 10:30:

    Anonymous: Scotland Live page is excellent, really well laid out, easy to use. Manages to be up to date, trustworthy and irreverent. Feels friendly yet authoritative. Well done!

    We'd really like to hear your thoughts on the new Scotland Live format - tweet us using #ScotlandLive, email us here or text to 80295.

     
  94.  
    10:20: 'Don't create lies'

    Sprinter Usain Bolt has turned to Twitter to responded to allegations that he isn't enjoying Glasgow 2014.

    He tweets: "I'm waking up to this nonsense..journalist please don't create lies to make headlines"

    Screen grab of Usain Bolt's twitter feed
     
  95.  
    10:15: Get inspired Live

    Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent are currently live in the hot seat at BBC at The Quay.

    Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent speak to the BBC's Jane Douglas

    Jill Douglas is inviting questions from the audience as well as testing the Olympic rowers' resolve and focus… on a home-made putting green. The Q&A is part of BBC Sport's Get Inspired initiative.

    Watch it live.

     
  96.  
    10:05: 'Utter rubbish' Chris McLaughlin Commonwealth Games reporter, BBC Sport

    Usain Bolt's manager says reports linking the Jamaican sprinter to disparaging comments about the Commonwealth Games are "utter rubbish".

    The Olympic champion has been quoted in a number of newspapers this morning after being allegedly overheard outside the Athletes' Village saying the Glasgow games were "not as good as the Olympics".

    His manager Ricky Simms told BBC sport "the atmosphere in and around the stadiums has been absolutely fantastic and I have absolutely no idea where these quotes have come from".

     
  97.  
    10:01: Usain Bolt - your views

    David Burns tweets: "#ScotlandLive Maybe Bolt should have tried taking part in things then"

     
  98.  
    09:46: Medal table
    Medal table graphic

    Scotland is currently fourth in the medal table, just behind Canada, but there are more medal prospects later today.

     
  99.  
    09:45: Driverless cars - your views

    Graham in Westray: Driverless cars - what a load of tosh! If people really want to sit and shave or read a paper on their way to work, then call a taxi, get the bus or the train. What is the point and why on earth would the Govt want to spend oodles of cash on this when there are so many others in urgent need of their help.

    Anonymous: Great idea. 40% of drivers are so incompetent they shouldn't be on the road. And they would park legally too, unlike the idiot drivers in Musselburgh who park on white zig zags, on double yellows, on corners with two wheels, on double yellows and at bus stops.

    Muriel in Blackwood: I'd rather be in a driverless car than with some of the drivers I know!!!

     
  100.  
    09:40: On the front page
    Front pages 30 July

    Take a look at our summary of the front pages of Scotland's newspapers.

     

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