A B-LISTED art deco building, which has deteriorated into one of

Glasgow's biggest eyesores, is set to be restored to its 100-watt glory.

The former Luma lamp factory in Shieldhall Road, which later became

Caravanland, has been standing empty for 13 years. However, the

Linthouse Housing Association, which bought the site last year, has

begun a #3.5m project to turn it into flats.

The building contains a huge tower, where lamps were tested, and the

hope is to turn it into ''a beacon welcoming people to Glasgow''.

Mr John McBride, the housing and development manager of the

association, said: ''As it is a listed building, we can't alter the

structure, but we see this development as more than just a conversion.

It is the type of building that could become a real landmark for


He said the plan is to light the tower from the inside and have it

floodlit from the outside. ''I think the effect will be quite

outstanding. It will be nice for people coming into the city from the

airport to see a beautiful building rather than a derelict one.''

The three-storey factory was built by the Scottish Co-op Workers

Society for the Empire Exhibition of 1938. The joint effort of the

wholesale societies of Scotland and Sweden in turn led to the formation

of the British Luma Co-operative Electric Lamp Society.

The architect was Cornelius Armour. His work was described as

''outstanding architecturally, the principal feature being a tall,

conical glass tower surmounting the south-west corner and rising to a

height of 84ft''.

A description of the factory read: ''One of the most fascinating and

essential stages of production of the lamps is the last -- the testing

of the finished product for light and life.

''Samples are conveyed to the testing tower where they are burned

under control at an excessive voltage for a considerable length of


Blackout regulations during the war prevented the tower from testing

lamps at night. At this time, it saw service with the Royal Observer

Corps when it was considered ''as a most suitable lookout post''.

In the 1970s, Luma changed hands and was used for various enterprises

before being taken over by Caravanland.

The Linthouse association plan envisages that the factory and its site

will eventually form 43 flats for sale with 12 cottage flats for rent.

The project is expected to be completed in just over a year.

The association has renovated more than 1000 tenement flats, built 37

new ones, and landscaped seven back courts since it was formed in 1975.

Mr McBride added: ''Strathclyde Regional Council has applied for

European Regional Development funding on the basis that this project is

obviously more than just a housing development.

''The Luma building is a first-rate example of 1930s art deco building

in Scotland with a distinctive tower that happens to be beside the main

arterial route into Glasgow.

''Ask anyone who travels on the M8 and they will recognise this

building. This project provides an opportunity to make the gateway to

Glasgow special.

''Many cities have landmarks that make them stand out, such as the

Statue of Liberty in New York. Although not in the same league, if

sufficiently funded, the Luma tower building could stand out like a

beacon welcoming people to Glasgow.''