by Lynsay Keough, photos Stuart Maxwell
One of the most familiar features on the Glasgow skyline reopened its doors in July. As if beaming with pride, sunlight flooded into the newly restored Briggait on launch day.
The beautiful, A-listed, former fishmarket has been lovingly transformed and now houses more than 80 artists and art organisations. It hosted several Merchant City Festival events.
Members of the public will be able to access the stunning 1873 courtyard on a permanent basis from this month.
The redevelopment has taken two years and £6.5 million to complete. Funding came from various sources including Glasgow City Council, Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, the Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Mickel fund and ethical lenders, Tridos Bank.
David Cook, Chief Executive of WASPS Studios, the Arts charity responsible for the redevelopment, is delighted with the uptake of the new studio facilities. He said: ‘We have been able to offer people on our waiting list the new studios. Some artists have come over from King Street. The light and energy in the Briggait is amazing.’
Attending the launch was Jennifer Paterson, one half of “Spokes”, a aerial duo skilled in acrobatic displays with lengths of silk.
by Lynsay Keough
This weekend the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall in the Trongate
will open its doors during the Merchant City Festival to offer Music Hall Memories.
The Music Hall, famous for the early performances of Stan Laurel, Dan Leno, Sir Harry Lauder and Jack Buchanan, is looking forward to entertaining a new generation on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July.
There will be magic, music, comedy antics, speciality acts, sing-a-longs and exhibitions. The performances will be at 1pm and 3pm, but patrons are advised to be there 15 minutes earlier.
The performances of Music Hall Memories will be free but donations are welcome. In 1997 a charitable trust was founded to rescue, restore and reopen the auditorium. But financial help is needed to keep it going.
For further information contact
Brittania Panopticon Trust
113 – 117 Trongate,
Tel: 0141 553 0840
By Lynsay Keough, photographs by Stuart Maxwell
Councillor Gordon Matheson was joined by dancers from the Bollywood style dance group, Nutkhut, to launch the programme for this year’s Merchant City Festival. Nutkhut will perform a Scottish premiere at the Festival, having entertained Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace and danced for thousands at Trafalgar Square. The programme this year moves to an earlier than usual timeslot 22 – 25 July. It offers a diverse array of theatre, music, food, outdoor performance, visual arts, dance and fashion across a wide range of venues, with many of the events free. The Briggait will also be re-launched as a venue this year, with some contemporary circus theatre adventure. The Arches are set to stage SURGE – the first festival developed by Glasgow-based theatre group, CONFLUX. SURGE incorporates physical theatre, street arts and circus acts; its outdoor performances taking place via SURGE at the Merchant City Festival and indoor through SURGE at Home with The Arches as venue.
Councillor Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Merchant City Festival hopes that the change in time slot will make the best of the Glasgow summer, with the increasing amount of street art in the programme. Fingers crossed!
For more details on the Festival check the new website: www.merchantcityfestival.com
caption: Councillor Matheson looks on as dancers entertain.