Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow's historic Kelvin Hall to open after £35m revamp

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionKelvin Hall opened in 1927 and sits across from the Kelvingrove Museum

Glasgow's historic Kelvin Hall is set to re-open in the autumn as one of the UK's biggest museums and research centres following a £35m refurbishment.

The building recently housed a sports arena and Glasgow's Transport Museum.

It will now house 1.5 million pieces from Glasgow's civic collection and Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum.

The venue will also house the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive and have a new role as a cultural, research and training centre.

The project is a joint partnership between Glasgow University, the Hunterian, Glasgow Museums, the National Library of Scotland and Glasgow Club.

Image copyright PA

Professor Murray Pittock, pro vice-principal of Glasgow University, said: "Kelvin Hall is a hugely exciting and unique project which brings together for the first time anywhere in the world civic organisations, higher education and national organisations under one roof.

"Kelvin Hall will help students wanting to study at the University of Glasgow to engage through the many objects housed at Kelvin Hall, it will enable postgraduate students to train using direct access to collections and the new digital portal, with more than 200,000 images, which can be utilised for research purposes.

"It will be a world-leading facility and is excellence available to all."

Kelvin Hall opened as an exhibition centre in 1927 and was used for musical performances before becoming a sports arena and home to Glasgow's Museum of Transport.

Over the years it has hosted major sports events including the 1990 European Indoor Athletics Championships.

A planned second phase of redevelopment will turn a 16,000sq m hall, once occupied by the Transport Museum, into a new home for the Hunterian museum by 2020.

Research rooms

The September intake of students at Glasgow University will be among the first to benefit from the redevelopment, which will offer teaching and research rooms.

Professor David Gaimster, director of the Hunterian, said: "The Kelvin Hall phase-one project is going to enable us to bring together all of our collections, 1.5 million objects and specimens, that are now in nine different storage facilities which are very inaccessible, and bring back this incredible asset dating back to The Enlightenment and not only create new access for educational audiences including the University of Glasgow but also connect collections which have been entirely fragmented for more than 200 years."

The phase-one development will also see a health and fitness centre at the site, incorporating an eight-court, multi-purpose sports hall, a gymnastics and martial arts hall and the city's largest fitness gym.

Glasgow University principal, Professor Anton Muscatelli, has previously suggested that when complete, the Kelvin Hall area will be the "best museum district outside of London".

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery sits opposite the Kelvin Hall building, while the Riverside Museum, home to the transport collection, is nearby.

The redevelopment is being funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish government, Glasgow University and Historic Scotland.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites