ICONIC Old Tunnel Rotunda Building Set To Become Events Venue

15 March, 2024 | Arts, Leisure, Entertainment and Sport, Listed / Historic Buildings

MULTI-million pound proposals to turn Glasgow’s historic North Rotunda into an entertainment hub and events venue have been revealed.

Forrest Hotels, owners of Radisson Red hotel, is seeking planning permission to restore and transform the building, which is beside the hotel and next to the Scottish Events Complex.

The hotel bought the Rotunda and its grounds in Tunnel Street in June 2023. It was last used as a restaurant complex.

The new venue would have two distinct spaces -– The Roundhouse on the ground floor and The Rotunda, on the upper floors.

Inspired by Nashville’s world-famous live music circuit, the ground floor space would be designed for live performance, while the two upper floors, under the cast iron and glass cupola, will be returned to open-plan spaces for hosting weddings, conferences and events.

Other features of the proposal are an extension housing a bar, an external stairwell so that modern building regulations and standards can be met, and a beer garden.

The first floor would have a lounge and pre-event space with an outside terrace, retaining floor-to-ceiling windows and offering views across the river.

The second floor space would be the heart of the venue, showcasing the full 360-degree windows and original cast iron cupola, with an almost eight-metre-high roof at the centre.

The building was constructed in the 1890s as the north entrance to parallel pedestrian and vehicular tunnels under the Clyde, paired with a matching elevator building on the south bank.

Keith Vallance of Forrest Hotels said: “Sadly the old building is in a sorry state, but we are prepared to invest heavily in order to restore this architectural gem, bringing a new generation through its doors.

“The North Rotunda is a beautiful old building with some lovely features, either covered up completely or worse, rotting away. We want to restore it and we have worked hard to come up with a design which enhances and showcases those features.

“We see the Rotunda as an important part of Glasgow’s heritage which we are keen to preserve and enhance, while creating a brand new venue to showcase the best of music and live events from Glasgow and beyond.

“Capacity can be up to 500 for larger events or around 200 to 300 for seated, table-service events like conferences and weddings.”

The Roundhouse and Rotunda would launch in early 2026 subject to planning consents and statutory approvals.

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