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A toast to Mackintosh

THESE have been trying times for lovers of the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with the recent devastating fire at the School of Art in Glasgow adding to long-standing angst about the future of one of his most popular creations, the Willow Tea Rooms.

Today, however, there is double cause to celebrate.

The House for an Art Lover in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, lovingly constructed to Mackintosh's distinctive design, has undergone the biggest major overhaul since it opened in 1996, with the launch of a new artists' studio pavilion and the latest phase of the Art Park Glasgow project near the main house. The pavilion will be used by selected artists to create and show public artworks.

This feel-good factor is topped up by the news that the future of the Category A-listed Willow Tea Rooms, has finally been secured after being bought by the Celia Sinclair Trust for about £400,000. The trust says it will ensure that after renovation work is completed the building will be financially secure.

Mackintosh holds a special place in the heart of Scots everywhere, many of whom will be proposing a toast today - with a cup of tea or otherwise.

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