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£500,000 boost for iconic Pearce Institute, Govan

£500,000 boost for iconic building (Evening Times)

ONE of Glasgow's historic buildings has been awarded a £500,000 grant to
help stop the leaks.

The money will be used to carry out urgent repairs at the Pearce Institute
in Govan.

Culture Minister Mike Russell announced Historic Scotland is to give the
centre, which is now a community hub, cash to stop water damage. It is
the largest in a series of grants to be awarded to projects across Scotland.

Mr Russell said: "The purpose of the Pearce Institute has always been to
serve the people of Govan.

"It is an iconic building, not just for Govan and Glasgow, but for Scotland
- showing that the best of our heritage can be brilliantly utilised to provide
vital facilities and lead the way in regenerating our communities,
particularly with the newly re-opened conference centre.

"In the current economic climate it is essential we support projects that
will make a real and visible difference to their communities and Scotland
as a whole."

As well as conferences, the Pearce Institute hosts ceilidhs, dramas and
music events and provides meeting and training rooms.

It is named after William Pearce, who was chairman and owner of the
Fairfield yard in Govan - a millionaire businessman who became Govan's
first Conservative MP in 1885.

James H

Good stuff on the part of Scottish Government, but it seems such a pity that this 'iconic' building, despite being 'iconic' still has had to struggle all these years for funding just to keep it all together and wind and watertight.

Re: £500,000 boost for iconic Pearce Institute, Govan

Ahoy! Return of a Govan landmark (© Evening Times)

A historic landmark has been returned to its rightful place following a major
clean up as part of a £2 million upgrade of Govan’s historic Pearce Institute.

The famous ship sculpture has been restored to its former glory and yesterday
celebrations marked its return to port. It had taken pride of place atop the
Peace Institute for more than 100 years but was removed while the building’s
roof was repaired.

The Evening Times had exclusive access when the ship, which weighs 220lbs,
was taken down last October – the first time it had been removed. It’s made of
sheet copper and bronze alloy and is normally perched high on the south-west
gable of the building. Restoration included repairing damage to the rigging and
decorative flags which are designed to move in the wind. Around 200 people were
invited to view the now gleaming ship before it was replaced on the roof.

Norie Mackie, chief executive of the Pearce Institute, said: “It is a very special
moment for us to have the ship returned. It is a symbol of Govan’s maritime heritage
but also a symbol of change. Coming face to face with it was very exciting – it
looks wonderful. It signifies the new lease of life for the Pearce Institute. The day
I started here there was bailiffs at the door demanding £48,000 and it was £83,000
in debt – facing closure. Now, with the first phase of restoration work complete, we
have secured the building for another 100 years.”

The Pearce Institute, an A-listed building, was gifted to the people of Govan in
1906 by Lady Pearce in memory of her husband, Sir William Pearce, the chairman of
the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company and Govan’s first MP.

Restoration work involved removing rot and asbestos from the roof, renewing
lead work and slates, new roof felt and re-slating. Conservation work to the cupola
was carried out and a weather vain on the roof now gleams in gold against the
skyline. Solar panels were also installed. The roof repair came in under budget,
meaning funds were available to transform the venue’s MacLeod Hall.

Norie added: “We jumped at the chance to have the Hall restored and now it has
become a venue fit for weddings and functions. It means we are not only on the
way to be being financially secure, but financially independent.”

Other areas which have been revamped include the former Lithgow Theatre and
a billiard room – which has seen light for the first time since the Second World War.
Skylights were painted black in the 1940s – and have only just replaced with clear
glass. The work is part of a wider programme to invest in Govan.

Glasgow contractor, CBC, who carried out the work, provided work experience
opportunities for local youngsters throughout the contract, bringing wider benefit to
the community.

It was funded by a partnership including Historic Scotland, Glasgow City Council,
The Heritage Lottery Fund, Central Govan Action Plan, and Govan Cross Townscape
Heritage Initiative.

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