As part of my placement with the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust through the Master of Museum Studies program at the University of Glasgow, I undertook three phases of projects assisting in the rejuvenation of the West Boathouse at Glasgow Green. These consisted of caring for the Boathouse collections, the development of a series of self-led heritage walking trails, and the creation of recommendations for the future of the Boathouse as a community heritage site.
Each of these projects posed their own difficulties but were as equally rewarding learning experiences. The first task began as a full inventory assessment of the items within the Boathouse. This consisted of photographing, recording, and creating an inventory of the items within the Boathouse; as well as, beginning the decant, dismantling and storing items found within the Boathouse’s attic. Since some objects were exposed to the elements and experienced damage, this was a special case of stabilizing and further preserving the items.
The second phase was a potential project within the Heritage Lottery Fund Activity and Interpretation Plan. The purpose of creating walking trails was to increase visitor numbers to the waterfront and awareness of the Boathouse. These series of walking trails were initially targeted for families, but after testing and surveys from family, was transformed into an educational resource that could be adaptable for a range of audiences, such as school groups, summer camps, and tourists.
Samantha's 'Discovering The Clyde' trails
The third phase was a product of my dissertation research. I outlined five essentials categories that I believe will both help the Boathouse with its outreach efforts, while also helping contribute to Glasgow’s waterfront culture-led regeneration. While it is difficult to determine how the rowing clubs will implement programming and collaborations in the future, the recommendation I put forward (focussing on the creation of: Strong Volunteer System, Diverse Programmes, Ongoing Relationships, Regular Feedback, and Festivals) have the potential to make the Boathouse an inclusive and important resource for local communities. These recommendations were compiled through research from the fields of urban studies, cultural policy, and museum studies and interviews with representatives from the Govan Stones, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, and the Riverside Museum.
This autumn will see the West Boathouse on Glasgow Green close its doors for a year while the building undergoes a transformation.
Drop by the boathouse to hear more about our project. The heritage engagement officer and members of the design team will be on hand to answer questions and chat about upcoming events, activities and volunteering opportunities and plans for the building.
This event is free and open to all – drop by any time between 10am and 2pm for tours, refreshments, and (weather permitting) boat rides ‘up the watter’ in the Dratsie.
The National Lottery has confirmed a grant of £1.37m to Glasgow Building Preservation Trust to redevelop a historic boathouse on Glasgow Green.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the Rejuvenation of the West Boathouse project will open up the River Clyde to all by removing barriers in order to enjoy and share the social, physical and psychological benefits of being part of a diverse river community. The project will redevelop the historic timber structure into a fully shared and accessible facility to enable other groups to utilise the building and access the river Clyde.
Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“With the European Rowing Championships coming to Scotland for the first time in its history in eight weeks’ time, the popularity of the sport is on the increase. We’re delighted that, thanks to players of the National Lottery, a building which has great sporting heritage and associations with Glasgow 2018 Ambassador Karen Bennett and Dame Katherine Grainger will be able to open its doors to local people and allow them to enjoy the river on their doorstep."
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT) have been working with volunteers from two rowing clubs and the project team to develop proposals for the listed building and an activity plan to promote use of the building and the river through a series of events and activities to appeal to wider audience – encouraging everyone to engage with the river and the heritage of the site.
John Entwistle, Chair of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust said:
“We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund have re-confirmed their long-standing support for this project – from their initial Start-Up Grant to the rowing clubs in 2015, through funding the project development and now this final grant award. We are grateful to the National Lottery players who, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, have been essential in our work to save historic buildings in Glasgow, such as the West Boathouse.”
In addition to HLF award, GBPT have also secured capital funding from Historic Environment Scotland, the Robertson Trust, Glasgow City Council, Hugh Fraser Foundation, Turtleton Charitable Trust and the Mickel Fund. This follows development funding previously awarded by Architectural Heritage Fund, William Grant Foundation, Glasgow City Council, MyPark Scotland public appeal and the Spirit of Calton Fund.
The Lord Provost of Glasgow, Eva Bolander, said:
“Glasgow is proud of its built heritage and the river from which so much wealth and pride has flowed. It is fantastic news that the National Lottery players, through the Heritage Lottery Fund, have confirmed their support for this unique project which seeks to reconnect communities with the Clyde.”
With total project costs of £2.7m identified, GBPT will spend the next year developing the proposals and raising the remaining funding before starting work in summer 2019, with completion anticipated in 2020.