A £9.2 million project is underway to breathe new life into the 133 year old former Burgh Halls complex at the heart of Maryhill. The scheme will save the iconic Halls for the community and create a thriving centre for business.
Maryhill Burgh Halls were the seat of municipal government in the days before Maryhill was a part of Glasgow. Built in 1878 and designed by renowned architect Duncan McNaughtan, they have lain derelict for the past eight years and are listed on the Buildings at Risk register.
The Halls and adjoining former police station were purchased by Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust in November 2009, and an ambitious programme of building immediately began. It is scheduled for completion in September 2011.
The Main Contractor for the project, Graham Construction, has secured employment opportunities within the local community by creating three apprenticeships in joinery to work on the Halls restoration. John McHugh, Contracts Manager at Graham Construction said: “We have a strong commitment at Graham to employing young apprentices and ensuring they acquire all the skills they need for a rewarding and enjoyable career.”
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust raised the remarkable amount of funding required to secure a bright future for the treasured Halls and in doing so recapture the splendor of one of the city’s best loved buildings. More than seven years of hard work has been put into developing the proposals for the project, and raising the money needed to bring it to life. The Board of the Trust comprises local people and representatives from partners Maryhill Housing Association, Cube Housing Association, and Glasgow City Council.
Once restored, the Halls will recapture the splendid historic beauty of this treasured building, and provide the local community with: a modern public hall, a cafe and heritage exhibition space, 11 offices, a commercial and community recording studio, nursery, and meeting rooms – all situated around a courtyard garden.
The building’s architectural appeal and historic merit is further enhanced by a unique series of 20 stained glass panels depicting the various trades and industries of Maryhill in the late 19th century. They were designed and manufactured by Stephen Adam, one of the leading stained glass artists of the time. The panels have been held in storage by Glasgow Museums, and the building restoration will allow a number of them to be conserved and returned to the building. Many of the panels feature varied trades and industries of the area.
Most are easily identifiable images such as a gas worker, iron moulder, joiner or boat-builder.
Mr Hunter Reid of the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust said: “The project represents the fruition of seven years of work by a large number of people. It has allowed the building to be transformed into a series of dynamic spaces that will once again make it the heart and soul of the community.
“The main contractors are doing a very good job on what has been a very complex project with a lot of structural, remedial and new build works on what is a very constrained site. Not only does the project include a lot of restoration work, there is also a significant amount of new build involved, and we are very happy with the progress being made and the standards of quality that have been achieved.”
He added that a series of historic trades workshops have been held at the site, focusing on traditional work such as slating and leadwork, masonry, pointing and joinery. These have been attended by people from the local community and schools.
He added that the Hall is already receiving many bookings for weddings, birthday parties drama performances, dances and conferences, as well as enquiries from potential tenants of the new office units – well ahead of any advertising.
Scotcourt are delighted to have completed the masonry conservation works on all phases of the Burgh Halls project which included the initial removal of cement rich rendered coatings and the subsequent steam removal of painted coatings prior to the replacement of carved, moulded and plain masonry to all elevations. Lime re pointing, and dressing were also carried out during the project to enable this important local historic listed building to have continued use under the imaginative and community based scheme initiated by the Burgh Halls Trust.