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PARTNERSHIP WITH PRIVATE SECTOR TO DELIVER CONTINUED MONDAY OPENINGS FOR GLASGOW'S MUSEUMS

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Glasgow's museums are to remain open to the public on Mondays thanks to a unique deal struck between a city busines...
Glasgow's museums are to remain open to the public on Mondays thanks to a unique deal struck between a city businessman and the Friends of Glasgow Museums (FoGM).

Adrian Pocock, the managing director of Scotia Land Ltd, a property development company, will donate£270,000 to FoGM over the next two years, which the council will use to continue Monday openings in a number of Glasgow's museums and galleries.

In February, the council approved a budget proposal to close its museums on Mondays - with the exception of the Gallery of Modern Art and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The savings from this are being used to enable all Glasgow school pupils to have at least one museum visit and theatre experience every year.

The original closure decision was taken because of traditionally low visitor numbers. Following today's announcement, school visits will be focused on Mondays and the possibility of hosting live performances and tours will be investigated to increase interest in Glasgow's museums on Mondays.

The new deal has been struck before the Monday closures were due to begin in mid-April.

Steven Purcell, the leader of Glasgow City Council, welcomed the move. He said: 'This is a fantastic gesture, in keeping with the great tradition of benefactors working with the city, to ensure that Glasgow's cultural treasures are accessible and free to all. It also shows, yet again, that Glasgow is more than willing to work with the private sector to develop and enhance our public services.

'When we took our original budget decision, it was on the basis of making the most effective use of our resources to give young people the opportunity to visit museums and theatres throughout the school year. I am very happy that we can now do both.'

Mr Pocock, a chartered surveyor, said: 'I first came to live in Glasgow nearly 20 years ago and since then, I have always been impressed by the quality of the city's museums and galleries. I enjoy immensely visiting the collections with my children and have spent many happy times there.

'The transformation of Glasgow since I have been here has been dramatic, and I have been privileged to contribute to many of the major property developments around the city.'

Mr Pocock added: 'When I heard on the news that there was a proposal to close the museums on Mondays, I felt that it was an opportunity for me to repay Glasgow for the wonderful times I have enjoyed in my adopted city.

'I hope that the continued opening of all the museums and galleries will be appreciated by the people of Glasgow and the visitors to our great city. I am delighted that the council and the Friends of Glasgow Museums have accepted my donation.'

Barclay Lennie, chairman of FoGM expressed his delight that the museums would remain open all year round, and said: 'This is a unique agreement. I'm delighted to accept Adrian's donation on behalf of Friends of Glasgow Museums which is another fine example of how both the public and private sectors have a role to play in supporting the development of the city's outstanding artistic heritage.'

NOTES

Glasgow City Council does not attract national funding for museums and galleries and spends more per head on culture and sport than it receives in grant funding from the Scottish Executive.

The Friends of Glasgow Museums is a voluntary body with approximately 2,000 members. Its activities supplement the museums service, including the provision of education programmes and the production of 'Preview' - a quarterly magazine detailing all that is going on within Glasgow's museums and galleries.

The seven museums covered by the proposal are:

The Burrell Collection

The St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art

The People's Palace

The Museum of Transport

Provand's Lordship

Martyrs' School

Scotland Street School, Museum (March to October only)

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