Future is looking bright for Springburn Winter Gardens

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A campaign to restore the run down Springburn Winter Gardens has taken a major step forward after a positive report from Historic Scotland.

Dr David Mitchell, director of conservation and national authority on architectural ironwork, recently undertook a preliminary site visit to inspect the winter gardens in Springburn Park.

In a letter to the council he described it as “an excellent example of this form of construction, hence its A listing”.

Considering its current condition, Dr Mitchell states that “whilst the site is considerably overgrown and subject to much vandalism the structure itself is eminently restorable.”

He advises that full dismantling of the structure to facilitate off-site restoration of the steel work would be his recommended strategy for eventual full restoration, as was done to the Kibble Palace during its extensive restoration from 2004 to 2006.

Glasgow City Council is now in the process of issuing a tender of works for clearance of the overgrowth and grounds remediation at the winter gardens.

It’s hoped the work will be complete in time for the Doors Open Days walking tour event at the park on September 21 and 22 when the winter gardens site should be secure enough to permit open site access for visitors.

Paul Sweeney, who is helping to lead the campaign said: “That is good news and we’re moving in the right direction, especially as we’ve only been up and running since January.

“We’re looking at setting up a charitable trust which will allow us to apply for funding. It will cost around £4-5m for a full restoration.

“We’re looking at different ideas for what it could be used for, such as a sports venue, community venue or even Scotland’s Eden Project.

“There’s lot of projects around the city we can take inspiration from.

“After Springburn Public Halls being demolished there’s a debt that’s owed to the area. The winter gardens is the last major historical building left in Springburn.”

Paul (pictured above) added: “The Glasgow Institute of Architects have offered to hold an open architectural competition for the winter gardens restoration, which should hopefully yield some fantastic creative ideas on viable end uses.”

The winter gardens has lain derelict since the 1980s.

A Twitter campaign has attracted 839 followers and 642 people have ‘liked’ a Facebook page. A number of celebrities have also backed the campaign.

Residents decided to act to try and save the building following the shock demolition of the B-listed Springburn Halls at the end of last year.

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