'Don’t panic': Glasgow City Council calms fears over proposal to close city's Modern art museum

Popular gallery was on the chopping block in latest budget option review

Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow

A budget option review conducted by Glasgow City Council has proposed closing the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow and moving its collection to Kelvin Hall museum nearby.

According to The Herald newspaper, “disposal of the building” located in Royal Exchange Square is cited as a possible option, with different council departments asked to identify possible savings in order to balance the budget. “Re-provisioning of services at St Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art, [the historic house museum] Provand’s Lordship and GoMA,” would save £538,000, the budget paper states.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council says: “The council [a minority SNP administration] will need to make budget savings, which could be in the region of £50m. The cross-party budget working group asked officers for savings options. All parties have received the same information and they will present their budgets at a meeting on 20 February.”

The proposal has raised fears, however, about the fate of the venue. Ben Harman, the former curator of contemporary art for Glasgow Museum, posted on Instagram: “Solidarity with the staff @glasgowgoma, who must be feeling pretty helpless about this situation.”

David McDonald, SNP councillor and deputy leader of Glasgow city council, tweeted meanwhile that “it’s [the budget appraisal] part of an annual process to examine every venue but GoMA won’t close on the SNP’s watch so don’t panic.”