People’s Palace launches ‘last chance to see’ campaign before closing for major refurbishment

People are being encouraged to visit the People’s Palace before it closes on Sunday 14 April for major refurbishment.
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Funding secured from The National Lottery Heritage Fund means the next stage of a transformational project can begin, which will completely reimagine and restore the much-loved museum and Winter Gardens glasshouse.

Glasgow Life, the charity which delivers culture and sport in the city have launched a ‘Last chance to see’ campaign. It urges locals, and visitors to the city, to make time to take in the many treasures on display in the popular People’s Palace over the next eight weeks.

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Set in historic Glasgow Green, the building is home to collections documenting the city’s social history from 1750 to the present day. Highlights include an opportunity to reminisce about Glasgow past at the single end, Steamie and Buttercup Dairy displays. For others, prized objects include the bright Barrowland sign, and iconic banana boots worn by one of Scotland’s favourite comedians, Billy Connolly.

The People's Palace in Glasgow is an important part of Scotland's built heritage The People's Palace in Glasgow is an important part of Scotland's built heritage
The People's Palace in Glasgow is an important part of Scotland's built heritage

Chair of Glasgow Life, Bailie Annette Christie said: "Having received the Heritage Fund award last month thanks to National Lottery players, we are keen to get started revitalising the People’s Place and Winter Gardens. It’s what the local community have been calling for.

"Like them we are eager to move forward with our vision to reimagine the whole place and create a dynamic community-led museum and flexible space, which will foster new ways to promote inclusion, access, and participation, and minimise its impact on the environment.

"With spring on the horizon and the school holidays only a few weeks away, I would encourage as many people as possible to grab this last chance to see the Palace before we close the doors and continue to work with local communities on this exciting transformation."

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Once closed, the vision to restore the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens as a vibrant museum and thriving community space will begin in earnest.

The development phase will take around 16 months. To begin with, a specialist project team will be brought together with the remit of championing the successful community-centred approach used to great acclaim at The Burrell Collection.

By collaborating with local people, and using their views, insights, and opinions to shape all aspects of the refurbishment, the aim is to transform the space and displays to make the building more accessible for all. Glasgow Life will continue engaging with the city’s communities on collecting, object interpretation and programming. Together they will start to develop the main stories that will feature in the ‘new’ People’s Palace, ensuring more heritage is on display in the refreshed museum.

The operational services and fabric of the building will also be refurbished. Initially, investigative work will be carried out to confirm the condition of the building and inform detailed reports that will allow contractors to be appointed.

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This ambitious project will improve the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens’ environmental sustainability, creating a greener, world-class, local museum. It will protect an invaluable cultural and heritage asset for generations to come and put the East End of Glasgow on the tourist map.

Work will start with the careful transfer of the People’s Palace Collection to publicly accessible Glasgow Museum stores.

Ahead of this monumental project to revitalise both the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, aficionados and those who have still to visit for the first time are being encouraged to seize this last chance to see a cherished museum, which holds a special place in the heart of many Glaswegians, before it closes on Sunday 14 April.

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