Glasgow School of Art has raked in more than £100m from insurance claims and fundraising as a result of the two fires that have decimated a national Scottish treasure while its rebuild has stalled, The Herald can reveal.

We can reveal that more than £78m was raised through insurance settlements and fundraising in the wake of the fire that gutted Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building in 2014.

Some £18m has already been received by way of interim payment over the 2018 fire which decimated the Mack. But is understood to be related to contract works associated with the rebuild of what is one of Scotland's most precious landmarks that was happening in the wake of the first fire in 2014.

A settlement amount of £8.5m has been already agreed for fire damage to GSA's Reid, Bourdon and Assembly buildings but after nearly six years, no agreement has yet been reached on any payout over the extensive damage to the Mack.

The Herald previously revealed that a six-year failure to reach an agreement over the "complex" insurance claim over the Mack blaze which is believed to have contributed to what has been described as "inertia" over its £100m+ reinstatement.

The 19 months of delay over the rebuild of the Mack has been described as a "national scandal" which will add millions to its estimated cost.

The Herald: GSA blaze

The June 2018 fire destroyed the iconic Category A-listed Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh building as it neared the end of multi-million pound restoration project following a blaze in May 2014.

But attempts at the reinstatement of the masterpiece originally designed by renowned Scots architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh have stalled and serious questions raised about whether the restoration will ever happen.

A design team that was supposed to have been in place according to the GSA itinerary by August, 2022 - has still not happened.

GSA refer to any insurance income received from the Mack fire in its official financial records as a "contingent asset" meaning that it is only a potential financial gain.

READ MORE: Lachlan Goudie: ScotGov must intervene over School of Art fails

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'A scandal': 19 months of 'inertia' over the rebuild of a Scottish national treasure

Glasgow School of Art: Insurance claim fuels Mack rebuild 'inertia'

The school has said it is "still working with our teams of professional advisors to progress towards settling the complex insurance claims associated with the 2018 fire".

Meanwhile, new questions have been raised over why there has been no attempt to raise funds for the new rebuild while the reinstatement process is 19 months behind schedule and counting.

The Herald can reveal that the insurance settlement over the business interruption and property losses from the 2014 fire was £45m. In addition, insurance receipts in relation to the heritage assets lost totalled £4.3m.

Glasgow School of Art Development Trust, a charity established eight years ago to start a £32m appeal for what it said was a £80m Mackintosh Campus Project was still holding onto nearly £6m according to its latest annual financial records signed off in March, 2023, seen by The Herald.

The Herald:

At that point it had raised £23.587m with £17.910m paid to GSA.

It was expecting to continue operating to make a new fundraising drive "in the future".

A £5m pledge towards the appeal from the UK Government which had not been received in 2022/23 has now finally been added to the fund - bringing it to nearly £30m.

The Hollywood actor Brad Pitt — a devotee of Rennie Mackintosh — and the former Dr Who actor Peter Capaldi agreed to be trustees of the fund-raising scheme.

Glasgow School of Art fires: read the series in full here

At the time of the blaze in June, 2018, the Mack was covered by an insurance programme, designed to co-ordinate general liability coverage for all parties working on the construction project following the 2014 fire.

That comprised cover for the contract works and the pre-existing structure.

According to GSA financial statements, the interim payments made by the insurers is in relation to the contract works while an agreement is still to be reached over what is to be received over the existing structure.

The value of the works in restoring the Mack in the wake of the 2018 fire have effectively been written off.

In January, last year, Penny Macbeth, SA director, said it did not anticipate calling on government funding if the project went to plan. And Muriel Gray, the first female chair of the board of governors at GSA, said the school hoped to use minimal amounts of public money for the project and rely on funds from its insurance cover and a private fundraising drive.

A three-year-old detailed business case examination of the project revealed that while a variety of funding sources may be available to deliver the capital project and support operation of the new building, its affordability was "dependent" on the outcome of the insurance claim.

Professor Alan Dunlop, one of Scotland's leading architects who once put his hat in the ring to become the next chair of GSA and is a stakeholder consultee for the project had questioned why attempts have not been made to raise public funds.

The Herald:

"Penny Macbeth has said the rebuild will be affordable and that there may be no need for public funds. I don't agree," he said.

"Although we do not yet know the scope of the commission and just what a faithful restoration actually means, advice from building professionals is that to do the restoration properly will take more than the £62 million.

"Having spent £35 million restoring the library after the 2014 fire I cannot see how more money can be raised through donation or by insurance, particularly when the cause of the 2018 cannot be established."

Renowned UK architect Sir David Chipperfield, who last year won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered to be the most prestigious award in architecture, and has previously declared that the Mack should be rebuilt following the agreement of an "acceptable" has admitted that it would be "very difficult" to justify the use of public funds for any reinstatement at a time when "schools needed new roofs".

Mr Chipperfield, the architect behind the much-lauded rebuild of the partially ruined Neues Museum in Berlin said it would need someone "with very deep pockets" to be able to fund the project.

Speaking as part of a lecture series, he also said the project to recreate the 1909 architectural masterpiece will need "total buy-in from everybody".

He has said that the Mack should be declared as a "monument of exceptional importance" and that the decision in what way it should be rebuilt should be based on "intellectual and technical criteria and opinion"

Describing the Mack's current state as "a terrible tragedy", he said: "[Making a copy] is not where I’d go to originally [if I was looking at the project] because you’d like to find something some other solution.

The Herald:

"But I've been there [to Glasgow] and I don’t think there is any other solution.

"We were very privileged in Germany because the money issue was not the conversation all the time."

He added: "I think you can rebuild it as a very high-class copy. There are enough drawings and evidence and photographs and we know enough about it."

But he accepted the problem would be "financial".

"You can't do a project with that complexity, without total buy in from everybody," he said.

"I think it's very difficult for a community to say how much you're going to spend on that? What, rebuilding that? Is it that important? What about you know, all the schools that need new roofs? That would be the difficult thing.

"I can't see how politically, especially in Scotland at the moment [that you can] justify that expenditure because to do it properly, it would be really problematic, but meaningful.

"You need political will. The Neues museum had the benefit but it was part of a reconstruction story of post war Berlin.

"You can’t do a Neues Museum. 50% of the building was left and 50% disappeared. It had been a ruin for 50 or 60 years, so it had status as a ruin. The Mack has no status. It's a burnt-out shell."

GSA, in literature sent to potential independent governors in the summer of last year, stated that they remained "committed to the rebuilding of the iconic Mackintosh Building, returning it to its central role in the creative life of our students, staff, city and nation".

Appointment details stated: "Since 2018 works have continued to focus on stabilizing the remaining structure and clearing debris and the production of the Strategic Outline Business Case...

"[The] plan for rebuilding of the Mackintosh Building will form part of the GSA's wider Estates' Strategy, aligned to the school's academic ambitions..."

GSA say that they "understand the sense of concern from many people" over progress over the reinstatement of the Mack but that they remain committed to the project.