HLF gives green light for Kelvin Hall development

Published: 22 February 2012

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced its initial support for a £4,838,700 project to breathe new life into Glasgow’s vast Victorian Kelvin Hall.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced its initial support for a £4,838,700 project to breathe new life into Glasgow’s vast Victorian Kelvin Hall.

The University of Glasgow and Glasgow Life are working together to develop the Kelvin Hall as a shared museum collections facility. It will allow public access to an impressive range of the city’s multiple museum collections and will also provide facilities for research, learning and training and public engagement.

Co-locating all its study collections at one venue for the first time, The University’s Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery will create a Collections Study Centre for object-based research, teaching and training. In addition, the partners will establish a Centre for Cultural and Heritage Skills, a national hub for in-service training, CPD and knowledge exchange.

Hunterian The new Kelvin Hall will revolve around a central orientation area and community heritage learning space, and will include seminar and conference facilities. An online portal will allow members of the public to search across the two collections, opening up an enormous number of objects that are currently in store.

The project will also provide a new hub for the National Library of Scotland’s Scottish Screen Archive. This co-location will build on the research, learning and interpretive collaborations already in place between the National Libraries of Scotland, Glasgow Life and the University of Glasgow.

This project regenerates a historic landmark building in Glasgow’s emerging cultural quarter, delivering a sustainable solution for improved collections care, access and learning opportunities.

The location of Kelvin Hall, situated between the city centre and the University, gives The Hunterian much needed street identity and signals a unique intellectual and cultural collaboration between town and gown. This unique partnership will develop synergies and discoveries across Glasgow’s rich and diverse collections and will mark out the Kelvin Hall as a new cultural destination for the city of Glasgow in the 21st century.

The creation of a university collections study centre at Kelvin Hall will transform The Hunterian’s capacity and ability to contribute fully to the University of Glasgow’s 2020: Global Vision for excellence in research, teaching and the student experience and for widening participation. The University has committed substantial resource to the project alongside HLF and Glasgow Life.

The creation of the joint collections facility at Kelvin Hall marks the first phase of a city and university master plan to create new public galleries, special exhibition and education space, thereby radically expanding Glasgow’s cultural offer. This space will be more flexible and experimental than existing galleries at the University or at Kelvingrove.

Professor David Gaimster, Director of The Hunterian said:
'Kelvin Hall will deliver The University of Glasgow’s strategic vision for The Hunterian as a leading global university museum service setting benchmarks in collections research, teaching, training and public engagement. This ambitious partnership between city and university is a first in the UK cultural sector'.

First published: 22 February 2012

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