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£4m lottery grant for Scotland’s historic Willow Tea Rooms

Willow Tea Rooms

The Heritage Lottery Fund award will allow the restoration and preservation of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow.

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust’s mission is to conserve and restore the iconic building at 217 Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.

The plan is to open the tea rooms and a new visitor centre as part of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth. This falls on June 7th 2018.

Thanks to the award, the Trust will be able to carry on with their work restoring the original tea rooms and the famous Salon de Luxe.  In addition, the plan is to include an interactive visitor centre, education and learning suite, alongside conference facilities and a shop.  The aim is to ensure that the project remains sustainable for future generations to enjoy.  The Trust hopes it will become a genuine social enterprise, offering a whole range of diverse activities way beyond its original function as a tea room.

“Thanks to National Lottery players the important cultural and rich heritage of The Willow Tea Rooms Building will be conserved,” says Celia Sinclair, Founder and Chairwoman of The Willow Tea Room Trust.  “Works to the exterior of the building are almost complete. The Heritage Lottery Fund award means that our vision for restoring the interior, commissioning furniture, crockery, cutlery and building the interactive visitor centre along with an education and learning suite, conference facilities and shop can now forge ahead.”

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a famed Scottish architect, designer and artist.  The Willow Tearooms first opened in October 1903.  Their location was a four-storey former warehouse building on the south side of Sauchiehall Street.  Mackintosh designed a series of spaces with varying functions and décor.

Image courtesy of Glasgow Living.

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