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Bryan Ferry to raise funds for Glasgow School of Art

Published on 25 September 2012

ROCK star Bryan Ferry will front a Glasgow School of Art (GSA) campaign to create a £20 million research centre of international repute.

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The Roxy Music singer, songwriter and style icon, who blended avant-garde art school style with mainstream pop success, will help the school to raise funds for what he described as a revolutionary addition at its Garnethill campus.

Ferry attended art school and worked as an art teacher before his band shot to success in the early 1970s,

He has now been recruited to the board of the Glasgow School of Art Development Trust and has agreed to be part of the fundraising effort after being given a personal tour of the Mackintosh Building.

Ferry said: "The Glasgow School of Art has a fantastic international reputation for the quality of its teaching and research and the achievements of its graduates.

"I am delighted to be a trustee of the GSA Development Trust and look forward to working with my colleagues and the school over the next few years to create this revolutionary centre for postgraduate education and research."

Ferry, 66, who was once described as "more likely to redecorate a hotel room than trash it", grew up the son of a miner in north-east England and studied fine art at the University of Newcastle before teaching in London.

It was once said that Ferry, whose hits include Love Is The Drug, Virginia Plain and Slave to Love, had led such an avant garde "art-directed existence" he should be hanging in the Tate Gallery in London.

The development trust will be officially launched on Thursday, with hopes it can raise £10m from philanthropic donations and sponsorship, major gifts from individuals, appeals to alumni and a public appeal.

The remaining £10m for the building will be raised through sales of land made surplus to requirements by the new buildings, "cash surpluses generated from revenue efficiencies" and borrowing.

The new Glasgow School of Art building will be designed during 2014 and 2015, with work beginning on site in 2016.

The Graduate and Research Centre will be the focus for postgraduates and new research in the latest stage in the redevelopment of the GSA campus in the city centre, led by the £50m new building being constructed opposite the Mackintosh Building.

According to fundraising material, the centre will replace "an existing sub-standard building less than a block from the heart of the campus ... and will provide 4300 square metres of new space, meeting our immediate needs and providing vital capacity for future growth".

Professor Seona Reid, director of the school, said: "Research, knowledge exchange and the Graduate School are currently areas of significant development at the GSA.

"As well as offering greatly enhanced facilities for existing researchers and postgraduate programmes, the new Graduate and Research Centre will help the GSA realise its ambitious growth plans in these areas."

The board of trustees also includes Dr Kenneth Chrystie, Kenneth Ross OBE, Sharon Bamford, Bob Downes, Muriel Gray, Douglas Kinnaird, Professor Reid, Philip Rodney and Boyd Tunnock.

Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden is Honorary Patron of the Trust, and its director is Alan Horn.

The chairman of the Trustees, Colin Grassie, chief executive of Deutsche Bank UK, said: "The Glasgow School of Art is a globally recognised leader in research and higher education in the fields of architecture, design and fine art.

"There has never been a more exciting time to be associated with the GSA, and it is a great privilege to serve as chairman of the Glasgow School of Art Development Trust at this pivotal point in its history."

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