There is new hope that Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre will be revived in time to be used during the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
As the Easter holiday started, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust announced that their long-running campaign to restore the venue had passed Round 1 of the Heritage Lottery Fund process. Said Anne McChlery, Director at the Trust: ‘A first-round pass means the project meets criteria for funding. We believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. We now have up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.’
The Trust and its partners – Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Architectural Heritage Fund, Friends of Kelvingrove Park and the local community – have development funding to cover draft design costs for this stage. During 2012, the project team will be concentrating on refining the design proposals and fundraising to secure the estimated £1.4million to bring this historic and social landmark back to life. But it is ‘full of asbestos’ said Anne, so that has to be removed before further checks on the building structure can be made.
Said Anne: ‘We are keen to record people’s memories of the bandstand as it was an important cultural venue. Initially designed for brass bands in the 1920s it was well used up till about 1999 when Radio Clyde had majour groups there. It even hosted poll tax demonstrations! We want to capture that cultural heritage and welcome anyone with memories and pictures to come and share them with us.’ The project Design Team comprises: Page/Park architects; nbm cost consultants; SKM structural engineers; Harley Haddow services engineer.
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage assets and has invested over £536 million in Scotland.
photographs by Colin Mackie
images by Page/Park
Developments to breathe new life into the Olympia building at Bridgeton Cross were unveiled at a public meeting on Wednesday 15 September in Dale Street community learning centre.
A clearly enthused Ian Manson, Chief Executive of Clyde Gateway told the audience of around 60 people: ‘I would not be standing here if I did not think we were close to achieving this.’
The £10 million needed to transform the empty and decaying ‘B’ listed building into a hub for the community, is almost all in place. The Olympia was a theatre and dance hall but has been lying empty in private ownership for many years till Clyde Gateway and Glasgow City Council managed to buy it for £1.8 million and obtain £8.2 million of Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration funding.
The ground floor will become a library and learning centre with a cafe and community acrchive clearly accessible and visible from the renewed Bridgton Cross area. ‘This is modelled on the very successful Mitchell Library,’ explained Ronnie Campbell of Glasgow Life.
The first floor will provide elite athlete training facilities for the national governing bodies for Boxing and Wrestling. This will be managed by Sportscotland in association with the Scottish Wrestling Association and Amateur Boxing Scotland.
The second and third floors will be commercial space with two floors of 500 square metres of lettable space with the opportunity of providing 100 jobs. This will be managed by Clyde Gateway Developments Ltd.
Applications for planning and building warrants will be submitted this month. The tender for a contractor should be put out in October with an appointment planned for January when work is expected to start. The new facilities will be open in the autumn of 2010.
Said local Councillor George Redmond: ‘This is an investment in the people of this area, not just in the building. There is no point in developing the Olympia building if people don’t want it.
At this point a resident commented: ‘This building is spot on!’
A portion of the jobs are expected to go to local people and anyone keen to be considered and to know how and when to access training, is invited to contact Clyde Gateway direct. Tel: 0141 276 1573 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see their website: www.clydegateway.com
Award winning architects Page/Park designed the re-newed Olympia building. The original listed domed facade – opened as a theatre in 1911 to seat 2000 -will be retained and a new structure in Orr Street to replace the existing dilapidated building. The entrance will have a new Art Deco styled grand stairway to allow the light from the dome to shine throughout the building.