People’s Palace and Winter Gardens need ‘tens of millions of pounds’

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Tens of millions of pounds is needed to transform People’s Palace and the Winter Gardens to create the cultural destination Glasgow is “yearning for”.

During Thursday’s full council meeting, a motion was brought before members by independent councillor Bailie Glenn Elder who called for a survey to be carried out and the costs of repair presented to councillors.

He also asked for a report to be presented to the relevant committee detailing the council’s position on proactive maintenance of these historic buildings.

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But an amendment by councillor Kenny McLean and seconded by councillor David McDonald, which ended up getting passed, noted that a report was already being prepared around the condition of the buildings to inform future funding bids to the Scottish Government.

Councillor McLean said: “I understand the motivation behind this motion. We all care about our heritage and that’s why the city government has taken action to protect it.

“We understand the concerns that a much loved facility is closed, however there has been much misinformation about the state of the Winter Gardens.”

Councillor David McDonald added: “We know that it will take tens of millions of pounds to create that single integrated heritage cultural destination the city is yearning for and to bring both buildings up to standard.

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“That’s why we have already started the work that is required to put forward a levelling up fund [bid].

“I remain hopeful that we will be able to attract external funding from other sources.”

The amendment noted that a detailed report is currently being compiled on the People’s Palace and Winter Garden.

It will then be used to inform funding bids and applications for the full refurbishment of these sites.

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But Baillie Elder, who moved the original motion, said he could not accept the amendment as it removed everything from his proposal.

He said: “We are in real danger of losing the city’s historic architecture and with that much of the characteristic essence of Glasgow.

“It appears to me that the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace stands as a stark example of this trend.

“If we are to prevent the situation from deteriorating further, active repair regimes should be introduced.”

Following the debate, the SNP amendment was passed by a majority vote.

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