The County You Live, Work And Play
Ten Years Since Rutherglen Town Hall Was Re-Opened
On Friday, March 4, 2005, over 150 guests attended the official opening of the building, with South Lanarkshire Council leader Eddie McAvoy handling the formal duties.
But the journey to the Town Hall’s return had taken plenty of time, and suffered a few false starts along the way.
The Grade A listed building had fallen into a state of disrepair during years of neglect, and was mainly home to pigeons.
The Town Hall had been an integral part of the community since it was first opened in 1862, with the east wing being added in 1876.
However the building was converted into offices in 1967, and then closed to the public in the 1980s.
Years of debate as to the building’s future then followed, while it fell into disrepair.
By the time South Lanarkshire Council promised to restore it to its former glory in 1996, the venue was home to plenty of pigeons and not much else.
It was November 2001 when funding was finally secured for the refurbishment, aided by support from Historic Scotland and from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Scotland.
The plan was the largest capital project announced by South Lanarkshire Council, a status it still holds today.
£12.5million was poured into revamping the venue with work beginning in earnest in 2002.
Three years later it was ready to open its doors once again, transformed from the run-down building it had become.
At the re-opening Councillor McAvoy stated: “The scale of the operation was a massive one and I am sure that the end result is something the people of Rutherglen, who themselves had a huge input, will be extremely proud of.
“The Town Hall is now a spectacle to behold as the old merges with the new.”
It didn’t take long for the re-opened site to start welcoming guests - the first wedding there took place days afterward, with Graeme Auld and Michelle Nouillan tying the knot.
Since then there’s been over 250 weddings, numerous community council meetings, workshops, gigs, comedy shows and theatre productions, as well as many folk popping in for their lunch.
In October last year the building welcomed it’s one millionth visitor, and over the past decade it’s sold over 110,000 tickets to shows, with a full programme planned for 2015