Tenement residents hold rooftop gigs to raise £1.2m for repairs

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Residents of a historic building have held rooftop gigs and pop-up exhibitions as they try to raise £1.2 million for vital repairs.

The B-listed Camphill Gate tenement in Glasgow needs major work to restore it to its former glory, including repairs to its glass cupolas, rooftop railings and guttering.

Residents of the 24 flats and 12 shop units that make up the five-storey building have joined together to raise funds for the renovation through a host of events

They have used the tenement’s unusual flat rooftop terrace to host secret gigs featuring the likes of RM Hubbert, Kathryn Joseph, Martha Ffion and Heir Of The Cursed.

During the Glasgow Open House Arts festival in April, three of the flats turned themselves into gallery spaces to host exhibitions.

Allistair Burt, of Camphill Gate Residents Association, said community spirit has helped drive the efforts.

He said : “The roof terrace is a really unique space in the city. It has become a really popular communal space. In the summer people go up there and chat and as a result of that we know all the neighbours in the three closes so we have a good community spirit.

“Everyone is very in favour of the work happening. There is a core group doing the volunteering but everyone is supportive of it going ahead and trying to raise funding, and as we have raised the profile of it people have started feeling they want to be a part of it.”

He has designed prints and mugs featuring a picture of the building, which are being sold to raise funds for the restoration effort.

Camphill Gate, in the Shawlands area, was also open to the public for the first time on Doors Open Day in September, attracting around 1,000 visitors over the two days.

First Minister and local MSP Nicola Sturgeon has also visited.

She said: “Camphill Gate is a unique building with a great story behind it. At this critical point in its history, it’s fortunate that the building has such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of residents and businesses within it, taking forward their ambitious restoration and renovation plans.

“It is vital that such an important part of the Southside’s heritage is preserved and protected and I support them in their efforts.”

Residents have raised around £1,500 of the £1.2 million so far but are hopeful of securing grants which could cover 40-50% of the cost.

They have been in discussion with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow City Heritage Trust.

Mr Burt said: “The work needs to get done. The building is deteriorating quite significantly quite quickly and we’ve reached the point where things are escalating.”

The block was built in 1906 by the architect John Nisbet and builder John McTaggart and is believed to be the first tenement in Glasgow to be built with fireproofing.

At five storeys it is unusually tall for a tenement and has a rooftop drying green because there was not room for a large enough one behind it.

Architect Fiona Sinclair, who produced a report on the building for the residents, said: “It’s really innovative for all of these things.

“From Pollokshaws Road it looks like a conventional albeit tall tenement but the architect has used Edwardian almost Glasgow style to clothe this unusual construction.

“It’s great that there is a group of tremendous residents who really care about the building and they are incredibly keen to bring it back into good order.”

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