Space for 69 artists and art organisations in historic Glasgow
The Briggait Building in the heart of Glasgow‘s Merchant City is set to be given a new identity: the 19th century fish market will be transformed into an exciting new resource for visual artists in Scotland. The Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund and Heritage Lottery Fund are both backing the project.
The Wasps Trust, in partnership with Wasps Artists’ Studios, is to turn the Briggait into a £6.3m new venue with 69 studios for visual artists, office space for cultural organisations and creative industries, two display/exhibition spaces, a café and new public space within a historic 1873 courtyard.
Engineering consultancy Buro Happold will be working closely with the Trust and the architect, Nicoll Russell Studios to ensure the integral ambience and rich design of the building is retained following the works.
The intention has been to minimise disruptive works, hence new studio constructions within the existing shell are formed as lightweight timber structures in the existing 1889 and 1904 halls. New foundations are constructed as simple raft foundations to spread the loads and minimise differential settlements between new and old. Where possible the existing structures will be retained and repaired where necessary.
This unusual building is to be leased from Glasgow City Council on an 80-year period set at £1 a year, in order to put the Briggait at the heart of plans to make the Merchant City and surrounding area a cultural quarter for the city.
Funders for the Briggait redevelopment include Glasgow City Council (£2.2m), Scottish Arts Council Lottery Fund (£1.7m), Scottish Enterprise Glasgow (£800,000), Heritage Lottery Fund (£750,000), Historic Scotland (£500,000), the Hugh Fraser Foundation (£15,000) and the Mickel Fund (£5000) and loan finance from ethical lenders, Triodos Bank.
This first phase of redevelopment has started and is set to be completed by the end of next year.