Two prominent heritage groups in Glasgow have been awarded funds totalling nearly £300,000 as the city - and Scotland - continue to recognise the importance of the country's built heritage.

The Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and the Glasgow City Heritage Trust have received funding of £50,000 and £240,000 respectively by Glasgow City Council for the 2023/24 financial year.

Such support is seen as being valuable as Glasgow’s built heritage is key to the city’s identity, tourism, wellbeing, regeneration, employment and economic recovery. 

According to Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Scotland’s historic environment plays a key role in the country’s economy, sustaining 68,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating £4.4 billion per year before the Covid pandemic struck. Two months ago, Christina McKelvie, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, launched Our Past, Our Future, the new strategy for Scotland’s historic environment sector.

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Since 1982 the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT) has restored and repurposed historic buildings and other heritage assets in the city. It is a key partner in the council’s People Make Glasgow Communities programme, which empowers communities to take control of local heritage assets.

Some of the most notable of the 30 restoration projects GBPT has completed either directly or on behalf of other organisations include Parkhead Public School and the recently-completed West Boathouse, on the Clyde. The Trust has raised and invested around £40 million for Glasgow's built environment, which represents an estimated £9 for every £1 of City Council investment.

The organisation also oversaw the restoration and refurbishment of the Kelvingrove Bandstand, which hosts the popular Summer Nights at the Bandstand season.

The Herald: Kelvingrove BandstandKelvingrove Bandstand (Image: Andrew Lee)

In 1990, GBPT introduced the Doors Open Days festival to the UK in 1990 as part of Glasgow's term as European City of Culture. The event is now in its 34th year.

The Trust is working with the council on a Heritage Asset Study, prioritising 35 buildings owned by the city, to restore and address many more of Glasgow’s heritage assets and create valuable community facilities.

The Glasgow City Heritage Trust (GCHT) delivers a grant programme to allow owners to restore the city’s at-risk built heritage, as well as a variety of outreach and heritage skills training programmes. GCHT is funded through a partnership between the council and Historic Environment Scotland in recognition of the value of the built heritage and the challenges it faces.

Recent work by the Trust includes a collaboration with the council to help 38 owners across three tenement closes to undertake essential repairs to the ‘B’ listed Glasgow-style tenement Camphill Gate, in Shawlands.

The Herald: Camphill Gate, ShawlandsCamphill Gate, Shawlands (Image: Glasgow City Heritage Trust)

It has also funded and assisted with conservation repairs to The Pyramid at Anderston, and has grant-aided works to remove the unusual ‘B’ listed warehouse at 202-4 Hunter Street, Calton, from the Buildings at Risk Register.

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The GCHT has also invested £15.3 million in repairing 587 of Glasgow’s historic buildings, and has offered grants to more than 1,980 people and organisations to help them look after their historic properties.

The Herald: The Grant Arms on Argyle StreetThe Grant Arms on Argyle Street (Image: Glasgow City Heritage Trust)

The Trust also refurbished the Grant Arms B-listed building on Argyle Street. The premises are said to be one of only two surviving buildings from the old village of Grahamston, which was demolished to make way for Central Station.

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The trust has saved 53 redundant or underused historic buildings in Glasgow, as well as supporting 59 traditional skills training projects, promoting careers in specialist conservation trades, and informing property owners about current best conservation practice.

Council funding for the Trusts is complemented by funding from Historic Environment Scotland.

Councillor Kenny McLean, Convener for Built Heritage at Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow’s built environment is very important to us, in not only the quality of the places we live in and visit, but also to our economy and sense of ourselves.

"This makes the work of both the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and the Glasgow City Heritage Trust in helping to maintain and improve our built heritage very important, and so we are pleased to continue to support them through this funding.”