Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Friday, 23 July 2010 10:40 UK
The Briggait opens for business
The interior courtyard of the Briggait
The Briggait has been redeveloped into a home for arts organisations.

The Briggait building in Glasgow's Merchant City served as the city's fish market for over a hundred years.

Built in 1873, the building closed in the late 1970s when the fish market moved out of town.

The Briggait re-opened as a shopping complex in the late 1980s but this proved a temporary venture.

Ten years ago WASPS Artists Studios began redeveloping the derelict building transforming the Briggait into a state of the art cultural centre.

Cultural quarter

The grade A-listed building opens to the public from August 2010 but the public took a peek inside the redevelopment on 24 and 25 July.

Part of the Briggait awaiting redevelopment
The building is undergoing development in stages

The Open Studios event took place as part of the Merchant City Festival weekend where people visited the newly redeveloped building and saw inside some of the artists' studios.

A circus drop-in day, acrobatic aerial shows and dance displays were also on the menu at the venue over the weekend with the Briggait taking its place in Glasgow's cultural quarter.

Funding for the redevelopment has originated from a variety of sources including Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Arts Council and smaller bodies such as the Hugh Fraser Foundation.

Old and new

All 45 artists' studios in the complex are now fully occupied. The building also contains offices, meeting rooms, a cafe and a public space which is contained in the bright and airy courtyard.

The development combines old and new with many of the original structures and stonework being retained throughout. The Briggait Steeple, contained within the building and dating back to 1665 is also being restored.

Artists working in the studios are appreciative of the history of the building and area and some are taking inspiration from the building's past.

Artist Karen Vaughan said: "Since leaving art school, many years ago, I'd been working in a variety of studios. All had their problems: too small, too cold, too dark or dodgy electrics. My studio at the Briggait makes me feel like I've grown up!

"It's big, bright and warm with the rest of the building providing all the other necessary amenities. The restructured building speaks for itself. The WASPS staff, who are always cheery and helpful along with the artists help to bring it to life."

In pictures: The Briggait re-born
23 Jul 10 |  Arts & Culture


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