Preview of the RSPBA’s Headquarters Restoration

A first look today at the new, £1m custom refurbishment of the RSPBA’s Headquarters in Washington Street, Glasgow. Sanctioned by the Association’s Board of Directors three years ago, the new building is scheduled for opening in May or June of next year.

Fire, caused by a faulty radiator, severely damaged the main headquarters building in 2017. An insurance claim of £120,000 was paid and added to the substantial building fund built up over the last 20 years from major championship surpluses.

These pictures are courtesy of the contractor CBC of Glasgow:

The company are clearly proud of what they have achieved and their blurb reads: ‘With our extensive track record in restoration and refurbishment, CBC appreciated how important and emblematic this structure was to the RSPBA and how the project should be approached. The challenge was to restore the establishment back to its former glory, whilst offering a modern experience for both members and newcomers.



‘Starting with the exterior, the stone walls have been repaired and repointed, new render to the rear of the building and additional openings created for new external doors. Moreover, the fire damage necessitated replacement of much of the roof structure along with sarking, slates and felt. This offered the opportunity to install new skylights within the roof structure, bathing the new rooms in natural light.

‘Upon entering the building, you’re met with the main staircase, which has been restructured, leading up to the performance area. The zone itself has been overhauled, to bring it up to 21st century standards with acoustic panels inserted around the room to control noise, eliminate slap echo [short echo] and control comb filtering [sound delay] in the room.

Headquarters only a few months ago

‘Furthermore, four new teaching rooms have been created for student practice and rehearsal. The refurbishment also included an extensive mechanical and electrical overhaul and the addition of a new sprinkler system.’

As you can see from the drawings below, first presented at the 2017 AGM, the lower floor of the Washington Street building comprises a large boardroom, which doubles as a teaching room, office space and plenty of storage.

Moving upstairs we see four teaching rooms, the RSPBA College admin office, a band practice/ performance area and individual practice rooms.

RSPBA Chief Executive, Ian Embelton

RSPBA Chief Executive Ian Embelton said: ‘We are very pleased with the work so far but much remains to be done before we can start moving our offices and all our equipment back into our main premises.

‘We hope we can coincide the official opening with the start of the new season. It is a very exciting time for the Association. We were fortunate in being able to build up our finances over the last 20 years to such an extent that the redevelopment work could go ahead.

‘We have had tremendous support from throughout the Association with branches even offering to help out if cash flow ever becomes an issue. Fortunately we haven’t yet had to take up their kind offer.


Get help for your band from the RSPBA’s fund – click on pic

‘We also had a very nice gesture from the Board of Directors who offered to waive expenses for the first two championships of this year just to help the bank balance even in a small way.

‘We extended this on a voluntary basis to judges, compilers and stewards and we have been very heartened by the gestures of goodwill that have been forthcoming.

‘We will of course have a full report on the progress of the refurbishment at the AGM in March next year and we will be working closely with the contractor throughout what remains of the project.’


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1 thought on “Preview of the RSPBA’s Headquarters Restoration

  1. Is there any chance of the year it opens perhaps an “inaugural competition” in the band practice room, like maybe the SPA knockout competition? There seems to be enough rooms for tuning.

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