Burrell Collection lands £15m HLF grant

Refurbishment project has raised more than 90% of £66m target
Jonathan Knott
Glasgow’s Burrell Collection has been awarded £15m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards a major refurbishment project that will enable more of its 9,000-strong collection to be displayed.

The museum closed in October last year to begin overhauling its Category A listed building.

The institution, which houses a collection donated to Glasgow by shipping merchant and philanthropist William Burrell in 1944, said that the refurbishment will open up all three floors of the building, optimising space and visitor circulation. 

A spokeswoman for the Burrell Collection said that it had raised more than 90% of the £66m estimated cost of the project. Glasgow City Council has agreed to fund up to 50% of the cost, and the Scottish government has pledged £5m. The museum is expected to reopen in 2020.

“Flexible displays for the rotation of artworks and new spaces for temporary exhibitions will allow much more of the collection to be displayed, giving visitors real insight into the breadth and depth of William Burrell’s great gift,” the museum said in a statement.

Other additions will include a cafe and landscaped terraces linking the building to its surroundings in Pollok Country Park.

Councillor David McDonald, the chair of Glasgow Life, which manages the museum, thanked HLF for its endorsement of the project.

“HLF has supported the development of Glasgow Museums for almost two decades and its significant investment has played a vital role in the success and growth of the city’s cultural offer,” McDonald said. 

“With HLF’s support and commitment, the Burrell Collection is once again a catalyst for change, driving regeneration of the historic and cultural heritage of Pollok Country Park, greatly enhancing the wider cultural offer in Glasgow's Southside and playing an important role in the city’s growing tourism offer by contributing to the economic impact tourism brings to the city.”

Seona Reid, the deputy chair of HLF and chair of the organisation's Scotland Committee, said: “The Burrell Collection was one of the greatest gifts ever given to a city and the seed that helped Glasgow grow into the thriving cultural centre it is today. It is timely then that in a year when we are celebrating Scotland’s History, Heritage and Archaeology, we are able to support such an important collection.”

HLF Scotland has also awarded £1.1m towards a £3.3m project that will create two galleries displaying National Museums Scotland’s collections of Ancient Egyptian and East Asian material.

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