The project team led by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust undertook a public engagement programme, considered the heritage significance of the buildings, developed an outline business case and considered potential governance options. This involved discussion with stakeholders, park users and potential tenants.
Without doubt, there is significant support for the repair and redevelopment of these Category ‘A’ listed buildings as a mixed use attraction which capitalises on the assets of Pollok Country Park. The Friends of Pollok Country Park group have expressed a particular eagerness to see these buildings saved and remain keen to be involved.
The historical and architectural importance of Pollok Stables cannot be overstated and much is yet to be learned about the early development of the site. The design team has illustrated how a mix of uses might be accommodated. Combined with other project costs and contingencies, it is likely that total project costs of at least £8.5m should be anticipated. External funding will be required to realise this cost, but as owners, there will be an expectation upon Glasgow City Council to contribute a significant proportion of these costs.
The nature and mix of indicative uses will evolve as the project develops, but the most important aspect of this study has been to recommend a governance strategy. Clearly, the management and maintenance of the complex has failed and a new arrangement is required.
The buildings would remain under the ownership of Glasgow City Council, but a long term lease to a large established charity could enable a heritage focused charity to manage the buildings and sub-let to a variety of tenants to realise the potential of this fascinating site. Our recommendation is that Glasgow City Council considers an organisation such as the National Trust for Scotland as lessee to take on full responsibility for Pollok Stables. In NTS there is an established track record and experience in managing and maintaining historic buildings, as well as a historic relationship with Pollok Estate. However, more detailed discussions will be required under indicative approval of both parties to develop this proposal further.
With the condition of Pollok Stables deteriorating, it should be with some urgency that Glasgow City Council consider this report and proceed as recommended. The trajectory of the default ‘do-nothing’ approach will result in the loss of these important buildings.
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust stands ready to help develop the project further and to save this important Building at Risk.
The reports are available to download now:
With thanks to the funders: