CLOSING a museum housed in one of Glasgow’s most famous landmarks and selling off the building has been raised in a council budget cuts paper.

The historic Gallery of Modern Art, (GoMA) on Queen Street has been included in a budget options paper and “disposal of the building” is mentioned as a possible outcome if the collection is moved out.

The closure of other city museums, libraries, community centres and golf courses have also been discussed, as Glasgow City Council needs to find tens of millions of pounds in cuts to balance its budget.

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Cuts are needed as local authorities struggle with reduced budgets and Glasgow also has to fund the equal pay deal.

Part of the suggestions discussed mentions the Gallery of Modern Art collection being moved and a consequence would be having to sell of the landmark building.

The GoMA, formerly Stirling’s Library is synonymous with the city featuring in tourist brochures and postcards thanks more to the statue outside than the art inside.

It has been a popular visitor attraction and one of the city’s most recognisable sights with the Duke of Wellington horseback statue outside world famous for the cone usually stuck on top of his head.

For the museums the options paper mentions “re-provisioning of services at St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art, Provand’s Lordship and GoMA” to save £538,000.

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It states GoMA plans could involve “rationalising within the Lighthouse” or “relocate Modern Art to Kelvinhall”.

However, the paper says: “In relation to GoMA; financially GoMA attracts rates relief of £250,000 annually.

“If declared surplus this would be lost. Disposal of the building would probably have to be the preferred option.”

The Gallery of Modern art is one of the top visitor attractions, not just in Glasgow but in Scotland.

It was the seventh most visited tourist attraction in Scotland in 2018 with more than 630,000 visitors.

It was ranked number 60 in the UK ahead of Edinburgh Zoo and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

The council budget will be presented by the City treasurer Allan Gow on February 20 and other parties will be asked to present their alternative proposals.

Libraries in Whiteinch and Maryhill could add to further savings with community centres also mentions that would together save another half a million pounds.

The council expects to make £50m of cuts in the coming year and departments have been asked to identify possible savings.

The savings options for Glasgow Life, which runs the city’s museums, libraries, parks and leisure facilities, run into millions of pounds.

The options paper, seen by the Glasgow Times, also mentions closing all but one of the city’s six golf courses to save half a million pounds.

It states closing all golf courses except Knightswood to save £530,000.

The Glasgow Life options paper said that usage has dropped by 15% over the last four years to 23,000 rounds.

It said: “staff would be redeployed” but it “expects trade union resistance”.

The Community Hub programme is co-locating services in single sites and the paper said this means “scope for” closing a number of facilities and identifies George Shaw centre (King’s Park), and Ruchazie, Ruchill and Tollcross community centres.

The Hub proposals could also see Maryhill and Whiteinch libraries shut and the Coupar Institute Hall and Library in Cathcart being surplus to requirements.

The Maryhill and Whiteinch Libraries are among the oldest in the city.

Maryhill Library has been on Maryhill Road since 1905 and Whiteinch Library since 1926

Maryhill is one of the Carnegie Libraries built using money donated by Scots born philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow City Council will need to make budget savings which could be in the region of £50 million.

“The cross-party budget working group asked officers for savings options.

“All parties have received the same information and they will present their budgets at a meeting on February 20th.”

Glasgow Times:

The history of the Goma...

THE Cunningham mansion has served many purposes to the people of Glasgow since it was built in 1778.

It remains as one of the few surviving 18th century townhouses built for Glasgow’s elite. The Palladian-style mansion was built between 1778 and 1780 from the design of an unknown architect. 

In total, £10,000 was invested to construct the Neoclassical mansion by owner William Cunningham, who was a wealthy Tobacco Lord heavily involved in the triangular slave trade. To this day, the building is thought to be one of the finest houses in Scotland. 

Cunningham didn’t stay for long, as he sold the building in 1789 to Stirling family to retire to his country estate in Ayrshire. 

The Stirling family were calico printers and used the space as a warehouse. 

The Royal Bank of Scotland eventually took over the mansion in 1817; when the building became wholly used for business projects. Shortly after, the branch relocated its premises to Buchanan Street; which is when the building became the Royal Exchange. 

The mansion was then used as a hub for information and meeting places for businessmen. Architect David Hamilton added the notable columns to the front and a large newsroom at the back of the building during this period. 

After the Royal Exchange departed from the building in the 1940s, it was used as the Stirling’s Library. 

In 1996, the Cunningham Mansion was transformed into what we know today as the gallery Gallery of Modern Art. 

Since its opening, the building has hosted several millions of visitors who flock in to see Scotland’s contemporary art. 

The building now holds a dedicated Education and Access studio, facilitating workshops and artists talks in the basement and a Learning Library. 

Visitors indulge in exhibits that include works by David Hockney, Sebastião Salgado, and Andy Warhol, inset, as well as Scottish artists such as John Bellany and Ken Currie.

Curators continue to collect and commission work by artists with a Glasgow connection.