The cause of this massive non-viability has been the combination of the 1996 CPO failure, GDA’s rescindment of a £245k grant and Historic Scotland reducing a then awarded £990k grant to £250k instead of increasing it to £1.5M in 2000.
And the consequences of this lack of collaboration and comprehension has now combined to imperil significantly the future of a building described by GCC as “The Egyptian Halls in Union Street is considered by many to be the greatest architectural achievement of Alexander Greek Thomson and one of the finest buildings in the city.” (Glasgow City Council Report June 2010)
There have been significant Regenerational advantages to be realised since YEAR 2000 and even today if the project can be funded e.g via the recently announced £115M City Plan “Avenues Project” the following public gain would accrue.
• The preservation of the world famous Egyptian Halls
• £20M+ Development begins much desired Union Street regeneration
• 114- 154 + bedroom, circa 3- 4 star hotel on the USI owned Upper Floors
• Bars/Restaurants on USP owned Ground Floor
• 200 jobs-30+ Modern Apprenticeships
• Deliver an EXTRA £400k Business Rates p.a.
And yet GCC, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and successive Scottish Governments have refused to even discuss how this now toxic cultural and financial disaster can still be reconciled.
1996 = -£1.35M Deficit – £1.35M Grant Funding awarded – GCC’s CPO does not work
2018 = -£25M Deficit – GCC admits a Contract Breach 19 years to late! No Grant funding
2019 = Fund the projected Deficit -£28M or Demolish and New Build?
So to repeat who can Slice this Gordian Knot?
And preserve and return the Egyptian Halls to commercial sustainability?