Major renovation saves iconic Glasgow building for future generations

AVS Morrison St-26An iconic B-listed building in Glasgow’s Tradeston area has been saved from falling into serious disrepair thanks to the building’s factor Speirs Gumley, a dedicated group of home and business owners, and grant funding from Glasgow City Council.

The building at 33 Dalintober Street/53 Morrison Street was originally designed in 1919 by architect James Ferrigan as a warehouse for the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society, completed in 1933. It sits immediately beside the very prominent Co-operative House, which is adjacent to the Kingston Bridge on the south side of the River Clyde. The building was converted to 60 flats and 4 commercial units in 1999.

A recent survey of the building carried out by chartered building surveyors, Wiseman Associates Limited, discovered major defects in the roof and basement car park, leading to water penetration in both areas. The survey discovered that the 100 year old roof was beyond repair and that the roof covering would have to be replaced entirely. Restoration costs were tendered at £1.135 million and, without these vital works, the building would deteriorate rapidly, homes would suffer from dampness and rot, and would lose value and become very difficult to sell.

Facing bills of around £16,000 per homeowner and £43,000 per business owner, the cost of the repairs looked prohibitive until Factor Speirs Gumley were able to successfully secure grant funding of 50 per cent from Glasgow City Council. With this financial assistance from the council, Speirs Gumley was then able to seek approval from the homeowners and business owners to pay their share of the remaining costs, in order that the vital repairs could go ahead.

FacadeSpeirs Gumley was faced with the very difficult challenge of having only 12 weeks within which to collect almost £576,000 from 64 owners.

Iain Friel, managing director of Speirs Gumley, said: “I’m delighted that with the support of the Dalintober /Morrison Street Focus Group and many other owners, together with a huge helping hand from Glasgow City Council, this project is now finally well under way. The scale of the task in collecting such a significant sum of money in a short space of time cannot be underestimated, and is testament to the commitment of the owners to restoring their property and the dedicated team at Speirs Gumley. Appointed surveyors, Wiseman Associates and contractors GDN Contracts have been extremely professional and thorough throughout the process, and work is currently ahead of schedule. We firmly believe that this project could kick start the transformation of Tradeston area.”

Councillor George Redmond, executive member for jobs and investment at Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow City Council is delighted to have helped to restore this important part of our built heritage and safeguard it for many decades to come.  This type of support is not just funding the protection of beautiful architecture, but an investment in the regeneration of a part of the city that continues to attract other investment and development and so contributes to the economic strength of Glasgow.”

externalGreig Douglas of Wiseman Associates Ltd said: “This landmark property is a very prestigious project for our company to be involved in. It’s rewarding for us to see this historic 100 year old building being restored to the condition that the property deserves.”

David Kerr of GDN Contracts said: “This is one of the largest Property Management projects that we have ever been involved in and there has been excellent teamwork from all the parties involved. It’s an extremely prominent building and one that we are very proud to be a part of.  We’re looking forward to restoring this historic property back to its very best.”

Iain Thompson, a key member of the building’s Owner Focus Group, added: “We’re so pleased that in the short space of time since hearing the news of the works needed and how much they would cost, that all parties involved managed to raise the funds required for the work to commence. We now are not only having a completely new roof, but also improvements to the underground car park and stairwells along with a refurbishment of the facade. This will hopefully conclude in us having our very historic and beautiful building in a better state than it’s ever been in before.”

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