Abandoned Glasgow: New commission set up to protect historic buildings

At risk buildings <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
At risk buildings (Image: Newsquest)

A NEW Commission has been set up in Glasgow to look at how to protect the city’s built heritage.

The council is bringing together experts who champion the city’s historic buildings to help advise politicians.

The Built Heritage Commission will have its focus on identifying solutions to managing and restoring vacant and derelict properties.

In a recent Glasgow Times investigates series we highlighted a number of properties in and around the city centre where owners had left them to rot over decades.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

We revealed there is expected to be a big increase in the number of buildings included in the Historic Environment Scotland ‘At risk’ register.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

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The Commission will look at sustainable uses for many buildings that are at risk.

Two key organisations with extensive knowledge will be part of the group.

Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and Glasgow City Heritage Trust will be key partners in the Commission.

The council said the body will discuss how to use a £1.7million fund to bring such properties back to productive use.

Glasgow Times:
Glasgow Times:

The Commission, which will meet three times a year, will be chaired by an administration councillor and an independent co-chair, with each political group at Glasgow City Council sending a representative.

Other members of the BHC will include council officers, funders and stakeholders, local heritage charities, Historic Environment Scotland and other statutory bodies, and local community groups.

Ruairi Kelly, Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, said: "We are rightly proud of Glasgow’s built heritage, and the creation of a Built Heritage Commission for the city underlines our commitment to protecting, maintaining and finding new and sustainable uses for it.

“Working with our partners in the heritage sector, the Commission will provide guidance for the action that will deliver the economic, environmental and social benefits that a successful built heritage strategy brings."

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The group has been set up in recognition that built heritage is key to not only Glasgow’s civic pride but also contributes to the local economy.

The remit of the Commission is to provide strategic advice to Glasgow City Council, and its public, private and third sector partners.

It will look at the council’s heritage assets, funding, policy, planning and legislative updates and Conservation Area updates.

It will also provide an overview of listed buildings at risk and identify sustainable future uses for heritage assets.

It will not be able to intervene on planning decisions or Building standards operations.

It is expected the first meeting will take place before the end of June.