Glasgow School of Art studio in Clydebank to be set up under £500,000 plan

Half a million pounds has been set aside to help Glasgow School of Art set up a studio in Clydebank.

Members of West Dunbartonshire Council’s (WDC) cultural committee have agreed to earmark £500,000 from the authority’s cultural capital fund which could see a council facility in Richmond Street leased to the art school.

The proposals, which have been in the works for around four years, would see the creation of studios and workspaces, provided an agreement can be reached between the local authority and the university.

An update was presented to Councilors last Friday where some concerns were raised about the cost of living crisis and setting aside such a large sum of money for this project.

Baillie Dennis Agnew, chairman of the committee, said: “It is quite important for West Dunbartonshire to be connected to such a prestigious organisation.

“Councillor Jonathan McColl and I met the headmaster of Glasgow School of Art just over two years ago when we had earlier discussions [with them].

“This proposal will have a huge impact on our citizens and the well-being of everyone in our society if it goes ahead.”

Union counselor John Millar wondered how the project would benefit residents struggling to make ends meet.

He said: “We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis. We’re allocating costs for a project that doesn’t seem very well aligned with our strategic priorities. I don’t know how we’re going to measure that success.

Baillie Agnew insisted the board was not ‘throwing’ money at anything.

He said: “This is a proposal that will cost up to £500,000. Much of society will benefit if this happens.

“It’s not about pounds and shillings and pence. It’s about investing in people with an organization that shows how the arts can impact society.

“It’s not just pictures on a wall, but interacting with people and understanding where we are.”

Council officials will now draft a business case to present to the committee that will outline how the project would work.

The members will then decide whether they want to continue or not.

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