A historic Glasgow building is to be transformed into an upmarket cafe, bar and restaurant.

The distinctive Hutchesons' Hall is being given a £1.3 million makeover ahead of its relaunch as a new city centre destination.

The landmark building in the heart of the Merchant City in Glasgow has lain empty for the last six years after sustaining severe water damage during storms.

The hall was designed by Glasgow architect David Hamilton in 1802 and is named after the Hutcheson brothers, George and Thomas, the founders in 1641 of the city's fee-paying Hutchesons' Grammar School.

It was originally meant to be used as a hospital for the elderly and a school for poor children. Instead it has been used as a public library, bank, school and shops.

The National Trust for Scotland owns the hall which has an eye catching white facade, clock tower and large stained glass windows has had been trying to find a new tenant for several years.

Restaurateur James Rusk has been given the go-ahead to use the A-listed hall in Ingram Street for his latest business venture. He already owns city steakhouse The Butchershop Bar & Grill in Sauchiehall Street.

The businessman, who is vice chairman of the Glasgow Restaurant Association, plans to create at least 50 jobs when he launches his new dining concept in a few weeks' time.

Mr Rusk said: "The building is steeped in nostalgia, a feeling of time standing still.

"When I stepped foot inside the grand hall, I instantly knew that I wanted to sympathetically transform this magnificent landmark into a distinctive dining experience for all to enjoy."

The hall has three floors and the restaurateur plans a cafe bar, restaurant and private dining area. His venture is backed by Gordon Matheson, the local councillor and leader of Glasgow City Centre who also chairs the city's marketing bureau.

He said: "Hutchesons will be a welcome addition to the city's impressive gastronomic scene, providing a unique dining experience and creating jobs for the city."