The deputy leader of Glasgow City Council has sought to quell fears that the city’s Gallery of Modern Art (Goma) building could be sold off.
A “speculative” paper produced by council officers had mooted the possibility of relocating Goma's collection to the nearby Lighthouse centre for design and architecture, or Kelvin Hall, the city's collections centre and library. It advised that, if this happened, the council’s best option would be to sell off the historic Queen Street building because of the resulting rise in business rates.
But following a public outcry, the deputy head of the council, David MacDonald, tweeted that the budget paper was “part of an annual process to examine every venue but Goma won’t close on the SNP’s watch so don’t panic”.
The council is looking to find savings of £50m as a result of funding cuts. It also has to meet a £548m legal settlement after losing a long-running equal pay dispute taken by female employees who were paid less than men in the same jobs.
In addition to GoMA, the budget paper speculated on the “re-provisioning of services” at two of the council’s other museums, St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art and Provand’s Lordship. In total the measures would save a total of £584,000, the paper claimed.
All parties are due to present their final budget proposals to the minority SNP council on 20 January.