Halls throw open the doors for exclusive hands-on heritage preview which proves a sell-out hit 

MARYHILL Burgh Halls has thrown open its doors for an exclusive “hands-on” preview as the £9.2 million restoration gathers pace.
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust held three free “Heritage Trades Workshops” for people ranging from 10 years old to over 80, to give them a feel of the impressive drive to bring the Halls back to life.
The workshops are part of the Trust’s ongoing education campaign to inform people of the work being undertaken after the incredible fund-raising target was reached. Work began on site last year and will be completed in Summer 2011.
Built in 1878, the Halls will soon re-open as an impressive 21st century community asset, which will recapture the splendid historic beauty of this architectural gem, and incorporate a modern public hall, cafe, 11 offices, a commercial and a community recording studio, a nursery, and meeting rooms, all wrapped round a central outdoor garden courtyard. 
Primary school pupils from St Charles Primary, Maryhill, students from the Glasgow Metropolitan College (soon to become the City of Glasgow College) studying Construction Crafts as well as interested adults of all ages, many of who live locally, all took part in the Heritage Workshops, which were fully booked.
They received a tour of the building site, got to grips with wood, slate and stone, and enjoyed demonstrations from and asked questions of skilled craftsmen from Graham Construction, ScotCourt Stonemasons and South West Roofing. 
Dr Gordon Barr, Heritage Development Officer at Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, said: “It was intended as a hands on experience allowing people to see what is really going on behind the scaffolding.
“Keeping people informed of our work is essential, because the Halls are being restored for the community. They are an iconic and treasured city building and the Heritage Workshops gave a fascinating insight into the building works, and the crucial role skilled craftsmen and women are playing to make that happen.
“Over a third of those attending live within 2 miles of the halls, and over two-thirds within 3 miles. That shows that local people are deeply engaged and interested in the restoration of their Halls.”
Those attending learned about:
*how traditional slates are carefully shaped by hand and fixed to a roof
*how traditional sash and casement windows work and how wooden sashes are jointed 
*how stone is finished and repaired
*where the historic stained glass which the Halls are famed for will be restored
*the difference between traditional lime and cement-based mortars and how construction techniques have changed over the centuries
Hunter Reid, Project Co-ordinator for the Trust, added: “The feedback we got from locals, teachers and pupils was amazingly positive - especially from those that got the chance to do some re-pointing work in the Hall itself, providing a personal and long-lasting contribution to the restoration works.”
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust comprises of people living or working within the local community and 3 key partner organisations - Maryhill Housing Association, Cube Housing Association and Glasgow City Council. 
Notes to Journalists:
The full breakdown of the funding received by Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust for the restoration of the Halls is as follows:
Scottish Government City Growth Fund Phases 1 and 2    £1.25m 
Heritage Lottery Fund    £990,000
Big Lottery - Growing Community Assets Fund     £980,910
European Regional Development Funding    £1.279m 
Glasgow City Council Better Glasgow Fund     £1.02m
Glasgow City Council Vacant and Derelict Land Fund     £650,000
Scottish Government Town Centres Regeneration Fund     £1.8m
Historic Scotland     £500,000
Scottish Government Housing and Regeneration Directorate    £750,000
The Robertson Trust   £28,000
Total: £9.2 million 
News release issued by Ross Wilson Public Relations (www.rosswilsonpr.com) on behalf of the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust. Further details from Ross on 07768 280021.