By Robert Wallace
The refurbishment of the RSPBA’s headquarters in Glasgow is well underway as the picture above shows.
I understand that Association staff expect to be able to move back in from their temporary offices across the road in Washington Street before the end of the year, possibly as early as September.
The building has been stripped back to bare stonework in readiness for a completely new custom designed interior.
The work is costing over £1m and though the finances are in place the Association is working hard to secure funding partners.
So far I hear on the grapevine that they have met with little success -extraordinary given that the RSPBA’s World Pipe Band Championship alone brings in an estimated £15m to the Glasgow and Scottish economy.
You would have thought Holyrood would have been throwing money at them.
I know the ‘funding failure’ feeling well having been down the same road my time at the College of Piping. We had a good claim, a very good claim – a genuine charity working for the national music – but each time we looked for funding we returned to Otago Street with the same barren result.
The Association would be much better expending their energy on securing private funding, as we did, rather than waste time trying to get anything from the Scottish government.
Warm words aplenty from the politicians no doubt but dashed little else.
I hope they won’t have the effrontery to accept any invites to the Worlds next August.
More positively we can have a look at the plans for the building which will incorporate the RSPBA’s Piping & Drumming College.
Interviews for the two individuals who will head up the College, Principals of Piping and Drumming, will, I believe, be in the next few weeks.
A short leet has been drawn up and the Board of Directors will decide who gets the shout for these important, though voluntary, posts.
It is obviously important that the best people are appointed. With the cutbacks in music education in our schools the teaching side of the Association’s endeavours have become ever more vital.
As you can see from the drawings, first presented at last year’s AGM, the lower floor of the Washington Street building comprises large boardroom which doubles as a teaching room, office space and plenty of storage.
Moving upstairs we see four teaching rooms, the College admin office, a band practice/ performance area and individual practice rooms.
All in all a very exciting time for the RSPBA and a credit to all those who have worked so hard to make it happen.
- The RSPBA AGM will be held in the Glasgow Trades House on March 9.