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19 April 2017, 15:46
A museum which houses almost 9,000 artworks collected by shipping merchant Sir William Burrell has won planning approval for a £66 million refurbishment.
The Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow, has been given permission for the work which architects hope will see a revival in its fortunes.
It follows approval by Glasgow City Council for funding of up to £27.3 million toward the cost of the refurbishment of the museum and re-display of the collection.
John McAslan, executive chairman of architect John McAslan and Partners, said: ''The Burrell Collection's ambitious plans have taken a major step forward.
''We are delighted approval has been granted for the renaissance of the Burrell.
''The scheme has been shaped by the need to address the strains on the current building, by a need to respond to the works held in the collection and by a desire to contribute further to the Burrell's unique setting of Pollok Country Park.
''This decision will ensure the Burrell Collection maintains its strong significance within Scotland and internationally''.
The scheme will open up three floors of the building, including the basement stores, allowing much more of the collection to be enjoyed by visitors.
James Alexander, chief executive of Event Communications, said: ''The integration between collection and building is what makes the Burrell so unique.
''By optimising and opening up new display spaces, the scheme will enhance the visitor experience and radically improve public access to its stunning collection of some 9,000 works''.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £15 million towards the project and the UK Government has committed £5 million. A fundraising campaign is under way with a target of £15 million.
Work to transform the A-listed building, which closed to the public in October 2016, will also see the creation of a dedicated space for special exhibitions and the conversion of offices into galleries.
The roof of the building will also be overhauled and more of the collection made available with stores accessible for the first time.
During the refurbishment, an exhibition of treasures will be on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum before the Burrell Collection's expected re-opening in 2020.
David Logue, senior partner Scotland, at consultants Gardiner & Theobald, said: ''With an increase in public space and display space, and in reducing the museum's large carbon footprint, the proposed works are set to benefit future generations.''