People’s Palace reopens amid rising fears over ‘perilous condition’ of Winter Gardens

10 April 2019

The People’s Palace new photography exhibition which captures daily life in Glasgow in 1955. Photographs: Jacob Nicol

Winter Garden campaigners raise concerns about the continued closure of the glasshouse

The People’s Palace reopened to the public on Friday amid rising fears about the current state of the adjoining Winter Gardens glasshouse.

The museum closed in December last year due to structural issues with the Winter Gardens, which will remain closed indefinitely. The current repair bill for the glasshouse is estimated to be £5–7.5 million.

Campaigners from Save the Winter Gardens were handing out leaflets outside the People’s Palace on Friday. The leaflets claim that the Winter Gardens are in a “perilous condition” and that there has been a “lack of information about repairs.”

A Save the Winter Gardens campaign pamphlet. Photographs: Jacob Nicol

People’s Palace campaigner Mairi Robertson said: “We have just launched the ‘Save the Winter Gardens’ campaign to make sure that the council don’t forget about the Winter Gardens.

“We’ve already had a huge amount of support and we want to have a dialogue with the council about repairing the Winter Gardens. There are many people who are concerned about it.”

She added: “It could take up to £7 million pounds to repair but we are willing to help raise money to do it.”

According to the leaflet, the campaigners are concerned about the “potential impact of vibration from the surge of big events on Glasgow Green on the A-listed People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.”

Shannon Shiell, a local business owner, said: “We have concerns over the public safety of the glasshouse. We don’t know what assessments have been carried out or how fragile the building may be. We’ve received no answers from the council.”

There has also been increasing alarm among campaigners about the council’s future plans for the gardens.

Shiell commented: “It appears that the council have been cutting down plants in the Winter Gardens and taking them to a private seller. However, the official response from the council is that they have been relocating them to other gardens.”

Robertson said: “On Wednesday the council started to remove the shrubbery around the glasshouse in order to put in a gravel path for the TRNSMT music festival. There is the worry that the Winter Gardens is becoming less of a garden.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “The Winter Gardens remains closed at this time. We are currently looking at how the Winter Gardens could be used in future, but no decisions have been taken at this time.”

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