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Windfall hopes for historic halls project

THERE are fresh hopes for the future of Glasgow's historic Egyptian Halls after a £5 million Heritage Lottery bid was submitted.

The A-listed building, in Union Street, designed by noted Scots architect Alexander "Greek" Thomson (1817-1875), has lain largely empty for three decades.

But now a newly created trust, the Egyptian Halls Building Preservation Trust, has been set up.

It has submitted a bid for funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and is expected to find out next month if first stage approval has been granted.

The HLF launched a heritage enterprise scheme aimed at financing the redevelopment of historic buildings last year, but could not pay grants to profit making companies, hence the creation of the trust.

Dundee-based Derek Souter, boss of Union Street Properties, together with fellow investors Kelvin Kerr and Duncan Souter, has owned the building for more than 10 years and wants to redevelop the dilapidated shell, opposite the side entrance to Central Station.

Planning permission was granted by Glasgow City Council in 2012, which would see the top three floors converted into a 114 bedroom hotel, with a two storey extension, and the refurbishment of four ground floor shops.

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