A “STUNNING” museum collection of almost 9000 artworks will be opened up to the public as a £66 million refurbishment moves forwards.
The Burrell Collection in Glasgow has been given permission for the work which architects hope will see a revival in its fortunes.
It follows approval by Glasgow City Council for funding of up to £27.3m toward the cost of an overhaul of the Pollok Country Park site and re-display of the collection built up by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell.
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The scheme will open up three floors of the building, including the basement stores, allowing much more of the collection to be enjoyed by visitors.
John McAslan, executive chairman of architect John McAslan and Partners, said: “We are delighted approval has been granted for the renaissance of the Burrell.
“The scheme has been shaped by the need to address the strains on the current building, by a need to respond to the works held in the collection and by a desire to contribute further to the Burrell’s unique setting of Pollok Country Park. This decision will ensure the Burrell Collection maintains its strong significance within Scotland and internationally”.
Work to transform the A-listed building, which closed to the public in October 2016, will also see the creation of a dedicated space for special exhibitions and the conversion of offices into galleries.
The roof of the building will also be overhauled and more artefacts made accessible to families, school groups, tourists and other visitors.
During the refurbishment, an exhibition of treasures will be on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum before the Burrell Collection’s expected re-opening in 2020.
James Alexander, chief executive of Event Communications, said: “The integration between collection and building is what makes the Burrell so unique. By optimising and opening up new display spaces, the scheme will enhance the visitor experience and radically improve public access to its stunning collection of some 9000 works”.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £15m towards the project, with another £5m to come from the UK Government.
However, this is still short of the target and efforts are underway to generate an additional £15m.