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Barr starts £23.5m Kelvin Hall refurb

18 Aug 14 With the Commonwealth Games now over, Barr starts work today on a £23.5m contract to refurbish Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall.

During the Commonwealth Games, the concert and events hall acted as the Uniform & Accreditation Centre (UAC) for games volunteers and workers.

Now work starts on the first stage of a £60m redevelopment that will see it become home to both a museum and a sports centre.

The project is a collaboration between the city council, Glasgow University, National Libraries of Scotland, and Glasgow Life, supported by the Heritage Lottery and Historic Scotland.

Once completed, the redeveloped Kelvin Hall will house community and cultural services from Glasgow Museums, Glasgow Sport, the National Library of Scotland and Glasgow University.

Large environmentally controlled rooms will be added to showcase the Hunterian collections currently housed at the University. Around 1.5 million objects that are currently stored in various locations around the city will be relocated to the new facility. It will also house the only surviving complete suite of interiors by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Mrs Cranston’s Ingram Street tearooms.

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In addition, the development includes the construction of the new Hunterian Conference Centre and Conservation Centre as well as teaching labs and the National Library of Scotland’s Scottish Screen archive, which will improve access for the public to more than 100 years of Scottish history on film and video.

The redevelopment of the facility will also create a number of sports halls, dance studios and a state of the art gym, along with its associated changing and support rooms for Glasgow Club. Gym users will be able to enjoy views of the River Kelvin after the installation of a large picture window which will replace the old west entrance, which formerly led to the Transport Museum.

As a part of the project, Barr will construct a new glass entrance structure to the north of the building, opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, which will house the foyer, reception and a café.

The Kelvin Hall opened as an exhibition centre in 1927 and has since been a music hall, indoor arena and even as a factory for the creation of barrage balloons during the Second World War.

Most recently, the Kelvin Hall was an International Sports Arena and home to Glasgow’s Museum of Transport before its relocation to the Riverside Museum.

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