The 134-year old Maryhill Burgh Halls officially re-opened this week - with the descendants of many of those who attended the original opening in 1878 in attendance.
Maryhill celebrated the official re-opening of its much-loved Burgh Halls buildings with a series of free events celebrating its rebirth as a community hall, business centre, nursery, cafe, exhibition and recording studio spaces. The dynamic light filled spaces, designed by J M Architects, create the perfect backdrop for historic and modern stained glass windows and heritage displays.
Events so far have included a free lunchtime concert with award-winning classical musicians, an open rehearsal featuring Glasgow Orchestral Society, a free tea dance in the Hall, and party organised for young people from nearby East Park .
The events will culminate on Saturday 28th April with an Open Day from 10am to 4pm, with free tours, talks, music, performance, dance and ceramic workshops, and even a vintage fire engine in attendance - everyone is welcome.
There will also be a performance at 2pm on Saturday with award-winning singer Maeve Mackinnon, accompanied by children from two local primary schools, as well as local adults, singing songs about the trades depicted in the historic stained glass windows.
The formal re-opening on the evening of Thursday 26th April saw a trio of special guests declaring the many years of campaigning, fundraising, and building restoration works complete.
Irene Scott, Chair of Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, said:
"The 26th of April is an extremely significant date because exactly 134 years ago the Halls were first opened. According to the Glasgow Herald at the time, ‘the proceedings took the form of a cake and wine banquet, and there was a large attendance of people connected with Maryhill.’
The significance of the occasion comes from the aspirations of the many local people, like Kenny McLachlan, and many others, who fought so hard over many decades to see this magnificent building saved and now re-opened. To me, it expresses the spirit and determination of a lot of people to overcome resource constraints and strive for excellence. Perhaps the most important dimension of all about this building is that it is here for the benefit of the community to use and enjoy in the years ahead."
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Cultural and External Affairs, said:
“Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust has carried out a magnificent job in both delivering this project and in providing a sustainable future for such an iconic local building.”
“Buildings such as the Burgh Halls sit at the core of Scotland’s cultural identity and, together, they form part of Scotland's unique contribution to the world's built heritage.”
Glasgow’s First Citizen, the Rt Hon the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Bob Winter, who grew up in Maryhill, said:
“I grew up in Queen’s Cross and so the Burgh Halls and the Baths have always been very important to me. I had my first bath on a Friday night in the Baths and also learnt to swim there – which probably saved my life when I went for a dip in the canal. I also had my first ever dance in the Burgh Halls.
“I am now absolutely delighted to see the wonderful job that has been done in restoring the Burgh Halls to full modern standards, while retaining wonderful features like the historic artistic stained glass. I am confident that Maryhill Burgh Halls will again be a much-used and much-loved venue and resource at the heart of this great community.
“I must pay tribute to the wonderful work undertaken by Hunter Reid, the tireless
Project Co-ordinator at Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, his colleagues and the local committee for the wonderful work they have put in over a number of years to raise the money and produce such a magnificent refurbishment.”
Andrew Robertson, who presented the original silver key which was used to open the Halls in 1878 said:
"134 years ago, my great-great grandfather James Robertson was the Provost of Maryhill, a prosperous and independent burgh outside Glasgow. One of his duties was to open these Burgh Halls - then a marvellous new building to house the local municipal offices – and in so doing, he received a ceremonial silver key. My grandfather passed this key on to me, over 50 years ago; since when it has lain in the dark, in my sock drawer. Now my family and I are delighted to be able to restore the key to the light of day, here in Maryhill amidst its heritage roots, and place it on permanent display at the rejuvenated Burgh Halls."
More details on the opening events and the concert and other events on Saturday's free Open Day are available on our website at
or by ringing 0845 860 1878.
Notes to Journalists:
This news release is issued by Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust www.maryhillburghhalls.org.uk
Further information is available from Gordon Barr, Heritage Development Officer, 0794 081 5202 or Hunter Reid, Project Co-ordinator 07807 739627 at any time or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Regeneration Project
The 134 year old building has undergone a £9.6 million restoration project, which has breathed new life into the iconic Halls, saved them for the community, created a thriving centre for business, and made the place once again the focus and beating heart of Maryhill.
Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust raised this remarkable sum to secure a bright future for the treasured Halls and in so doing recapture the splendour of one of the city's best loved buildings.
The restoration work began in November 2009 and is now complete.
In November 2010, the project was awarded a prize for best contribution to Urban Regeneration in Scotland through the use of European Structural Funds at the European Structural Funds Best Practice Awards ceremony.
In March 2012, the project won the Scottish Civic Trust's MyPlace award.
Maryhill Burgh Halls were the seat of municipal government in the days before Maryhill was a part of Glasgow. Built in 1878 and designed by renowned architect Duncan McNaughtan, they have lain derelict for over 10 years and were listed on the Buildings at Risk Register. Now open, the Halls include a modern public hall, cafe, 12 offices, a commercial and a community recording studio, a nursery, meeting rooms and courtyard garden. Around 8 years of hard work has been put into developing proposals for the project.
The Board of the Trust, which comprises local people and representatives from partners Maryhill Housing Association, Cube Housing Association and Glasgow City Council, has worked tirelessly to deliver the restoration.
The contractor for the project Graham Construction secured employment opportunities within the local community by creating three apprenticeships in joinery to work on the Halls restoration.
Funding for the Maryhill Burgh Halls project has come from:
European Regional Development Funding £1.327m
Scottish Government City Growth Fund Phases 1 and 2 £1.26m
Heritage Lottery Fund £1.16m
Big Lottery - Growing Community Assets Fund £980,910
Glasgow City Council Better Glasgow Fund £1.02m
Glasgow City Council Vacant and Derelict Land Fund £675,000
Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Fund £1.8m
Historic Scotland £593,000
Scottish Government Wider Role Fund £764,000
The Robertson Trust £28,000
Everyone who is interested in viewing photographs of the development of the project before and during construction and at completion can do so andcomment on the project on the Trust's Website at www.maryhillburghhalls.org.uk