Glasgow & West Scotland

Osborne pledges £5m for Burrell Collection revamp

The Burrell Collection building in Pollok Park Image copyright Glasgow Life
Image caption The Burrell Collection building in Pollok Park was opened in 1983

The UK government is to contribute £5m towards plans for a £66m revamp of Glasgow's famous Burrell Collection.

The cash was announced in the Commons by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement and Spending Review.

The redevelopment will see the building which houses the priceless collection refurbished and extra floor space added to quadruple the number of exhibits.

The Burrell Collection is due to close to the public early next year and reopen when work is complete in 2019.

The collection bears the name of shipping entrepreneur Sir William Burrell, who died in 1958, and left his thousands of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics and stained glass to Glasgow.

Cash pledges

A specially-commissioned building to display a portion of the collection was opened in Pollok Park in 1983.

However, the A-listed structure is now in urgent need of repair and redevelopment plans, costing between £60m and £66m, have been drawn up.

Up to half of this will be met by Glasgow City Council.

The £5m announced by the chancellor adds to the £15m pledged earlier this year by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Image copyright Glasgow Museums
Image caption Sir William Burrell left his priceless collection to Glasgow

The remainder will come from a public fundraising campaign.

When complete, the project would open three floors of exhibition space - including the basement which is currently only used by staff.

It would also mean about 90% of the 9,000-piece collection could be put on display - about four times what is currently shown.

While work is being carried out, some of the exhibits will go on loan - against the wishes of Sir William Burrell.

He gifted the collection to Glasgow with a condition they were never loaned, apparently fearing that they may be damaged in transit.

MSPs voted last year to relax that restriction, paving the way for the famous collection to go on tour while redevelopment work is completed.

Loaning out items from the collection will also bring in much-needed revenue.

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