This is the first image of the once great Winter Gardens at Glasgow's People's Palace which shows the shocking condition of the site.

What was once a thriving venue and meeting place and attached to the city's social history museum at Glasgow Green is now a sad and derelict place.

Campaigners are now calling the city council to live up to their previous pledge that the Winter Gardens will be repaired, renovated and reinstated.

Read more: Scottish Government agrees to crucial meeting over Glasgow culture crisis

Friends of the People's Palace, Winter Gardens and Glasgow Green say it is a devastating image and is gut-wrenching to see.

Dr Elspeth King, of the Friends group, said: "We are totally gutted by this and devastated to see the condition of it. We were told People's Palace will always be a museum of social history and that the Winter Gardens would always be the Winter Gardens with free entry.

"It is clear to us that there is obviously other intentions for it."


Campaigners are calling for urgent action

Campaigners are calling for urgent action


Dr King, the former curator of the People's Palace which is currently closed for repairs after plaster came down recently, says the group feels that Glasgow's culture and local museums are being neglected.

She added: "There is total neglect for local museums while at the same time a push for international art as the Burrell Collection has just been awarded even more money.

"The People's Palace tells the story of Glasgow - its culture and how diverse it is. The Winter Gardens is a venue with a 123 year history and is much-loved by the people of Glasgow. We need answers and want the council to live up to its pledge."


Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, at the re-opening of the Peoples Palace in June. Photograph by Colin Mearns.

Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, at the re-opening of the People's Palace in June. Photograph by Colin Mearns.


The People's Palace, operated by Glasgow Life which runs the city's culture and leisure services, reopened in June but closed its doors again last month for essential building work to be carried out, however the Winter Gardens remained closed.

The glasshouse and adjoining People’s Palace were closed in January 2019 after structural engineers ruled they were no longer safe.

The People’s Palace reopened in April that year after a £350,000 refurbishment, which included a covered walkway for the fire escape and upgraded sanitary facilities.

The Winter Gardens remained closed after the sealant used to secure the glass panelling was deemed to have “reached the end of its life”.

The Herald is currently leading a campaign, A Fair Deal for Glasgow, calling for more funding for the city's culture and leisure venues and its collections.

Glasgow Life lost £38m in income last year due to the pandemic and predicted income for 2021/22 is around £6.4m, and while Glasgow City Council has reached an agreement for it to receive a guaranteed £100m a year for the next three or four years, Glasgow Life has only been able to open 90 of its 171 venues. Without further funds, it cannot open any further sites.

We are calling on both the Scottish and UK governments to agree a new funding deal.

A spokesperson said: “Following the closure of the Winter Gardens at the end of 2018, all plants with a known horticultural value or significance were relocated to the Botanic Gardens or Queen’s Park.

“Others, including a number that were either diseased or otherwise reaching the end of their natural life, were not moved.

“These pictures were taken during the removal of the remaining overgrown vegetation, much of which was causing damage to the fabric of the Winter Gardens itself. This was essential in order to carry out structural survey work – which is vital in order to secure the future of the building.”