Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow's £74m Riverside Museum opens to public

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Media captionHundreds of people queued to be first inside the new Riverside Museum which officially opened to the public

Glasgow's new £74m Riverside Museum has been officially opened.

The venue, on the banks of the River Clyde, will showcase the city's transport, shipbuilding and engineering heritage.

It was designed by prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and houses more than 3,000 exhibits, in about 150 displays.

The Tall Ship Glenlee, which has been berthed alongside the museum, has also been re-opened.

Councillor Gordon Matheson carried out the formal opening ceremony smashing a bottle of champagne on the side of the building in the same way vessels are launched on to the Clyde at Govan Shipyard.

He said: "I am delighted to be welcoming people to Glasgow's latest star attraction.

"The Riverside Museum is a breathtaking new home for our internationally-renowned transport collection.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Riverside is the first major museum to open in Glasgow since The Burrell Collection in 1983

"The exhibits inside this magnificent new building have been given a further lease of life thanks to some stunning new displays that not only show off the trains, cars, trams and bikes, but also tell the stories of the people who made them, bought them, used them and loved them."

Despite the rain, hundreds of people flocked to the new museum to be among the first to take a look around.

Gaynor McLea, who lives in Lenzie, East Dunbartonshire, was visiting with her five-year-old son.

She said: "It's very impressive and a lot brighter than the last place."

Angela Adams, who is 58 and lives in Knightswood, Glasgow, said: "It is much bigger and better than the old one. I worked in the old one years ago in the 90s.

"It is really, really fantastic. It has taken a lot of hard work and it is great for children to see the history."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The previous Transport Museum at the Kelvin Hall attracted almost 500,000 visitors per year

More than 1,200 people have worked on the project since it was given the initial go-ahead in 2002.

Lawrence Fitzgerald, project director and manager of the museum, said: "The public have been involved in this project from the very beginning.

"We had stakeholder groups set up and they helped inform this museum, they have helped with the content by donating their memories, their photographs."

Drumming collective, Clanadonia, and the Jordanhill School boys choir performed a special sea shanty as the Tall Ship was reopened to the public, with the first 50 passengers invited on board free of charge.

The Riverside Museum has been funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal.

A new ferry running across the Clyde between Govan and the new Kelvin Harbour close to the museum was also being launched to coincide with the Riverside's opening.

It is the first regular passenger service on that part of the river since the 1960s.

The Riverside Museum is the third home for Glasgow's transport collection since the 1960s and the first major museum the council has built since The Burrell Collection opened in 1983.

The previous Transport Museum at the Kelvin Hall in the city's west end attracted almost 500,000 visitors per year.

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