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Lights out for Lighthouse

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October 29 2008

Scotland's centre for architecture and design, The Lighthouse, has posted an operating shortfall of £300,000.  The design champion lacks a banking overdraft facility prompting an embarrassing cap in hand plea to Glasgow City Council (GCC) to plug the gap.

The projected cash gulf emerged after ramifications of the credit crunch hit home and hard on the organisations commercial work.  Speaking to Architecture Scotland a spokesperson advised: “In the context of the current climate we are asking for a loan to make sure we are in position to continue our planned activities.”

The stricken centre was left reeling when the Scottish Government refused to bankroll the Six Cities Design Festival, to the tune of £2.25million.  Although these monies had not yet been spent a decision had earlier been made to retain the core team, this money will not now be recouped.

A contributing factor to the overspend stemmed from the Venice Biennale which presented: “significant unanticipated costs which were not covered by the Scottish Government grant for the project", according to an agenda paper put before GCC’s Executive Committee.

The Lighthouse are not apportioning any sense of blame in this, saying: ”They (The Scottish Government) have every right to make funding decisions,” but clearly something has gone badly awry.
 
The cash starved centre has written a new business plan to avert the looming crisis which could entail up to 10 redundancies. As well as staff restructuring, it aims to revamp the interior of the former Glasgow Herald newspaper offices, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.  This will release more space for commercial usage providing desperately needed income.


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