Culture Secretary visits GSA

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Following the UK Government’s announcement of £5m for the Glasgow School of Art at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference held ahead of the Games themselves, the Culture Secretary came to have a look at the Mackintosh building. The announcement appeared to be the same one made by Danny Alexander the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in June, but it really does mean that the UK Government has committed £10m to the reinstatement of an important building. 

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid today saw how the UK Government funding will be used to help restore the fire-damaged school.

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The fire on 23 May damaged the 1907-1909 section of the internationally significant Mackintosh Building.

The UK Government has committed the further £5 million to go towards the costs of creating the school’s Graduate and Research Centre. The school’s Mackintosh Appeal aims to raise £20 million to help with repairs.

The fire has meant the school’s plans to create a revolutionary Graduate and Research Centre has lost momentum and the   Government investment will help the school achieve its ambitious future.

Sajid Javid said: “The damage done by the fire to the magnificent Mackintosh Building is terrible but what really hits is the loss of students’ work and the many hours of creativity and dedication they poured into it.

“The resilience shown by the staff and students since the terrible fire is a real inspiration.

“I’m pleased the Government has been able to help secure the future of the Glasgow School of Art and I look forward to returning to see the Mackintosh Building when it has been restored to its former glory.”

The Glasgow School of Art was founded in 1845 as one of the first government schools of design. It is widely recognised as one of Europe’s foremost university-level institutions for creative education and research in fine art, design and architecture.

It has produced many of the UK’s leading contemporary artists such as Douglas Gordon and David Shrigley and three recent Turner Prize winners: Simon Starling in 2005, Richard Wright in 2009 and Martin Boyce in 2011. Other former students include Harry Potter/Cracker star Robbie Coltrane, the new Doctor Who Peter Capaldi and artist Peter Howson OBE.

Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art said:

We are extremely grateful to the UK government for this support which recognises both the importance of research in creative disciplines to the future of the British economy, and the international profile of The Glasgow School of Art as a leading centre of studio-based creative education.

The GSA has one of the largest research communities in the visual creative disciplines in the UK. The Graduate Research Centre will help us to develop our research profile further through new partnerships with national and international organisations.

It will allow us to build on successes to date by our centres of expertise including the Digital Design Studio, Mackintosh Architecture Environmental Research Unit and Institute of Design innovation and on ground-breaking research projects such as our work in the area of health and wellbeing design, as well as developing new and exciting research strands.

The building was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the School’s most distinguished alumni, in the late 19th century. It’s one of Glasgow – and Scotland’s and the UK’s – most iconic and best known buildings and was judged to be best building of the past 175 years in a nationwide poll run by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

On 18 June the school formally launched the Mackintosh Appeal, with Brad Pitt and Peter Capaldi amongst its trustees, and aims to raise around £20 million to support the institution in the work that needs to be undertaken following the fire.

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