The Hunterian is currently based at the University of Glasgow

Hunterian heading for Kelvin Hall

Gareth Harris, Issue 113/05, p6, 01.05.2013
Switch mooted to boost access to Scotland's oldest public collection
The Hunterian, Scotland’s oldest public museum, could relocate from the University of Glasgow to nearby Kelvin Hall under a plan designed to boost access to the collection.

Phase one of the project, scheduled for completion by 2016, will involve the creation of a Hunterian Study Centre at Kelvin Hall for collections, research training and teaching.

“In the first phase, it is planned that all Hunterian study collections currently housed both on and off campus will be co-located at Kelvin Hall,” said a spokeswoman for the Hunterian.

New public galleries, along with exhibition and education areas, are to open at the new site by 2020, during the second phase.

“Ideally, we would like to quadruple the percentage of items from the collections on public display to 2%,” added the spokeswoman.

The move to Kelvin Hall will cost £60m, according to local press reports. But the spokeswoman said the costs were still being reviewed.

“The way forward will, of course, depend on financial viability and agreement between all of the parties involved,” she added.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced initial support of £4.8m for phase one of the project. A round two capital bid for HLF funding will be submitted in June.

The Scotland-based arts and museums consultant Wendy Law said: “The proposed move to Kelvin Hall… not only offers the opportunity for greater contextualisation of the museum’s collections but also improved facilities and resources for research and teaching for the university’s staff and students.”

Glasgow Life, the trust that runs the city’s museums, will also use Kelvin Hall as a museum collections facility under a new partnership with Glasgow University. 

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “About 400,000 objects from the city’s collections that are currently not on display would move to the hall.”