A POPULAR Glasgow museum is to close for three years as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens glasshouse on Glasgow Green has launched a ‘last chance to see’ campaign before closing its doors on April 14.

Funding secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund means the next stage of what bosses at Glasgow Life – the culture and sport arm of the city council - are calling a “transformational project” can begin.

The famous museum is home to collections documenting the city’s social history from 1750 to the present day, including a steamie, the Buttercup Dairy and Billy Connolly’s banana boots.

Glasgow Times: The People's Palace and Doulton FountainThe People's Palace and Doulton Fountain (Image: Gordon Terris/Newsquest)

The Glasgow Times told recently how campaigners, including Margaret Cochrane (pictured) fought to save the 126-years-old building, which closed in January 2019 after structural engineers ruled it was no longer safe.

The People's Palace re-opened, but the Winter Gardens remained closed.

Glasgow Times: Inside the now derelict Winter GardensInside the now derelict Winter Gardens (Image: Gordon Terris/Newsquest)

The initial £850,000 lottery grant will fund a community engagement phase and “pave the way” to securing a further £6.65m, one of the largest Heritage Fund awards made to a single project in Scotland. 

The total cost of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens project is £35.9 million. Glasgow City Council has already committed £2.9 million to the project.

A further £11m contribution will come from the council, while Glasgow Life is working with other public and private sector funders to secure the remaining investment required.

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Bailie Annette Christie, chairperson of Glasgow Life, said: “Having received the National Lottery Heritage Fund award last month we are keen to get started revitalising the People’s Place and Winter Gardens.

“It’s what the local community has been calling for. Like them we are eager to move forward with our vision to reimagine the whole place and create a dynamic community-led museum and flexible space, which will foster new ways to promote inclusion, access, and participation, and minimise its impact on the environment.”

Glasgow Times: The People's PalaceThe People's Palace (Image: Gordon Terris/Newsquest)

She added: “With spring on the horizon and the school holidays only a few weeks away, I would encourage as many people as possible to grab this last chance to see the Palace before we close the doors and continue to work with local communities on this exciting transformation.”

Once closed, the vision to restore the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens as a vibrant museum and thriving community space will begin in earnest.

The development phase will take around 16 months, starting with a community consultation along the lines of the approach used at The Burrell Collection.

By collaborating with local people, and using their views, insights, and opinions to shape all aspects of the refurbishment, the aim is to transform the space and displays to make the building more accessible for all.

Glasgow Life intends to work with the city’s communities on collecting, object interpretation and programming to develop the main stories that will feature in the ‘new’ People’s Palace, ensuring more heritage is on display in the refreshed museum.

Initially, investigative work will be carried out to confirm the condition of the building and inform detailed reports that will allow contractors to be appointed.

Work will start with the careful transfer of the People’s Palace Collection to publicly accessible Glasgow Museum stores.

The operational services and fabric of the building will also be refurbished in a bid to improve its environmental sustainability and creating a “greener, world-class local museum.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said the new museum is expected to open in 2027.