THE revamp of the Kelvin Hall has taken a step forward as the first stage of works is finalised.

Bosses in charge of the refurbishment have now chosen a contractor to start work on August 18, to transform the hall into a museum, gallery, sport and cultural centre.

The £60 million development will be completed in two stages - with phase one costing £23,500,000.

As first reported in the Evening Times last June, the Kelvin Hall will become the new museum for the Hunterian collections of Glasgow University, as well as a home for items from the Glasgow Museums' collections.

It will also be home to a new Glasgow Club gym, group fitness spaces and dance studios.

The Glasgow Museums area will house a furniture and Mackintosh tearooms conservation workshop, stores, learning and display spaces.

The National Library of Scotland area will have a public access collection of books, offices and workspaces that will accommodate a team from the Scottish Screen Archive.

The Hunterian is creating offices and teaching spaces for their curators, with stores and viewing rooms.

The work is being funded by the council, Glasgow University, National Libraries of Scotland, and Glasgow Life, with cash also coming from the Heritage Lottery and Historic Scotland.

The work will be carried out by contractor Barr Holdings Limited.

It is scheduled to take around 18 months.

The second stage, creating new galleries and special exhibition and education spaces, is scheduled to end in 2020.

Glasgow Museums' section will house the only surviving complete suite of interiors by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: "Working with our partners, a huge amount of effort and detailed planning has gone into mapping out an ambitious future for the Kelvin Hall.

"We are now very close to progressing its much-needed redevelopment now that both funding and a preferred contractor have been identified.

"The Kelvin Hall is one of the city's most beautiful buildings.

"This massive £23.5m investment will see it transformed into a shared cultural campus at the heart of the city's museums' quarter and a fantastic new Glasgow Club facility."