GLASGOW’S tourism industry is expected to take a major hit as two popular attractions are set to close indefinitely.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens in Glasgow Green are to shut at the end of the year over concerns for public safety.

Structural engineers have estimated that it would cost Glasgow City Council £7 million to bring the Victorian glasshouse up to an acceptable level of safety.

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As the closure takes effect, the local authority will be looking at ways to secure a long-term future for the iconic buildings.

Primary safety issues stem from the Winter Gardens, which date back to 1898, but as the fire escape from the People’s Palace requires access to the glasshouse, it will also have to close.

Glasgow Times:
Decay on the People's Palace

Council bosses are said to be working on options to allow the People’s Palace, which houses historic artifacts, paintings, prints and photographs, film and interactive computer displays, to remain open independently of the Winter Gardens.

All bookings for the venue have been suspended, but those already scheduled to take place will be allowed to go ahead as planned.

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There is not believed to be any safety risk to those using the venue in the run up to its closure.

The Winter Gardens are known to host various events including corporate dinners, award ceremonies and weddings.

The venue is also used as a VIP area for guests at events taking place within the park including the recent TRNSMT festivals.

Glasgow Times:
Decay on the Winter Gardens

Staff working from the council-run Winter Gardens are expected to be deployed elsewhere.

It is unknown what will happen to those based in the People’s Palace, which is operated by arm’s length external organisation Glasgow Life.

The contents of the building are thought to be staying put until the long-term plan is drawn up.

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Local councillors expressed their shock at the decision, which was made without public consultation.

Councillor Robert Connelly, who was previously on the board of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, said the closure would have a negative impact on the local area.

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He added: “The closure will have a massive impact on tourism in the area. People come to the area especially to visit both sites and I know locals regularly use it as well.

“It will be a big loss and hopefully one that can be avoided.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The Winter Gardens will unfortunately have to close at the end of this year, due to concerns about the safety of the structure beyond that point. We are currently working on options to allow the People’s Palace to remain open independently of the gardens.

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“At this stage, we do not know how long the Winter Gardens will remain closed. However, we estimate that investment of between £5m and £7.5m will be required to make it safe for public use.

“With that in mind, we are currently examining how we use both the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

Glasgow Times:

“The aim is to secure a sustainable, long-term future for an iconic building in one of the city’s most loved spaces.

“A full report of the plans will be submitted to elected members and the relevant committee in due course.”

A spokeswoman for Visit Scotland said: “Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland will continue to work with local industry and businesses to develop and deliver innovative initiatives to continue to grow the visitor economy.”