The multi-million pound revamp of one of Glasgow's landmark buildings, Kelvin Hall in the city's west end, is to be completed by this summer.

The former sports facility, opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, is being turned into a museum, research centre and store by the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Life and the National Library of Scotland.

The newly upgraded facility will create "the best museum district outside London", the University claims.

The Hunterian Museum is to house its new research facilities there, with space for 1.5m items, many of which have not been seen in public before - the collection is currently kept in nine separate stores around the city.

The second phase of the revamp, aimed to be completed by 2020, would involve the creation of a new Hunterian museum in the space formerly occupied by the Transport Museum, but until then the current museums and galleries will remain in place.

The plan is for all the university's  gallery spaces - museum, art gallery and its Mackintosh collection - to move to Kelvin Hall by 2020.

The Mackintosh House would be "re-presented" at Kelvin Hall.

Kelvin Hall will also be home to the Scottish Screen Archive, run by the National Library (NLS).

The first phase of the redevelopment is due to be complete by the summer and will officially open to the public in September.

Last week the Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese was joined by Scottish film producer Iain Smith, who made the latest Mad Max film, actors Brian Cox, Alan Cumming and Bill Paterson, writer Ian Rankin and broadcaster Kirsty Wark in backing a drive by the NLS to raise £250,000 for its store of archive films on the site.

New postgraduate courses and research and study areas will be offered by the University of Glasgow, with the new student intake starting in September.

Glasgow Museums, with 400,000 objects, will also provide open public access to its collections.

Professor Anton Muscatelli, the principal of the University of Glasgow, said: “Kelvin Hall, when it is completed, will be the best museum district outside of London.

"With Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery across the road and the nearby Riverside Museum, Glasgow’s riverside and west end area will become a cultural corridor from the Clyde to Kelvingrove for academia and tourism, to rival South Kensington in London which is home to the V&A, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum."

Professor Murray Pittock, vice principal, said that the new cultural hub has already attracted interest from Christie's Education, the educational wing of the auction house, and the Smithsonian, the major US museum.

He added: "It will help students wanting to study at the University of Glasgow to engage through the many objects housed at Kelvin Hall, it will enable postgraduate students to train using direct access to collections and the new digital portal, with more than 200,000 images which can be utilised for research purposes.

"It will be a world leading facility and is excellence available to all.”

Professor David Gaimster, director of The Hunterian Museum, said: “The Kelvin Hall Phase 1 project is going to enable us to bring together all of our collections, 1.5 million objects and specimens, that are now in nine different storage facilities which are very inaccessible, and bring this incredible asset dating back to The Enlightenment, and not only create new access for educational audiences including the University of Glasgow but also connect collections which have been entirely fragmented for more than 200 years.

“For The Hunterian, Phase 1 of the development is the foothold and should give us the business case to eventually create a new Hunterian in the next few years as part of Phase 2.

"In the meantime, The Hunterian public galleries will remain where they currently are.”

It is planned that Phase 2 of Kelvin Hall would turn the 16,000sq metres hall, which once housed the former Transport Museum, into the new Hunterian.

The Kelvin Hall development financial supporters include the University of Glasgow, The Hunterian, Glasgow Life Museums and Sport, National Library Scotland, Scottish Government, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Glasgow City Council.