Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow's historic Kelvin Hall opens after £35m revamp

Kelvin Hall Image copyright Lakesmere
Image caption Kelvin Hall opened initially as an exhibition centre in 1927

Glasgow's Kelvin Hall has been officially reopened as one of the UK's biggest museums and research centres following a £35m refurbishment.

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

It now holds 1.5 million pieces from Glasgow's civic collection, the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive as well as a cultural, research and training centre.

By 2020, exhibitions will be added from Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum.

Image copyright Glasgow Life
Image caption The building now houses 1.5 million pieces from Glasgow's civic collection
Image copyright Kelvin Hall
Image caption Kelvin Hall was the venue for Glasgow's old Transport Museum

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.

'Cultural attraction'

The venue was officially reopened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said: "Having seen a variety of uses in its 90 year history, the Kelvin Hall is now home to some of Glasgow's finest cultural attractions.

"And it's fitting that following the huge success of Glasgow 2014, one of Scotland's biggest health and fitness centres in now open at the Kelvin Hall."

The first minister said the Scottish government would provide a further £2m towards the second phase of redevelopment which would see the venue house Glasgow University's Hunterian Museum.

The project to refurbish Kelvin Hall has been a joint partnership between Glasgow University, the Hunterian, Glasgow Museums, the National Library of Scotland and Glasgow City Council.

Councillor leader Frank McAveety said: "Everyone has their own memory of the Kelvin Hall and I'm delighted that we have been able to breathe new life into this much-loved building.

Image copyright Glasgow Life
Image caption Kelvin Hall sits near Glasgow University, one of the main funding partners

"Working with our partners, we have transformed this building into an inspirational cultural and sporting complex of international scale and quality.

"The people of Glasgow are already enjoying the facilities - and with plans for a further redevelopment of the remainder of the building, there's so much more still to come."

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

Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal of Glasgow University, said: "Today marks a momentous day in the history of Kelvin Hall. The multipurpose venue provides an exceptional addition to what the university is able to offer our community.

"Students attending our new and innovative courses at Kelvin Hall will benefit immensely from a unique way of learning, and along with researchers will not only have access to the 1.5 million objects which the world renowned Hunterian Museum holds, but also the Glasgow Museums collection and the National Library of Scotland's Moving Image Archive, all under one roof.

"Kelvin Hall will allow the University of Glasgow to build on its international reputation for world changing, collection-based research and teaching. It will enable us to forge new academic and educational partnerships and practices."

Image copyright Glasgow Life

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