Mackintosh's Willow Tearooms to be revived

A MACKINTOSH masterpiece will be returned to its original state thanks to a charitable trust.

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The future of the Willow Tearooms was under threat after the roof fell into disrepair.

Now a Mackintosh fanatic is planning to restore the Sauchiehall Street landmark back to its former glory after sett-ing up the Celia Sinclair Charitable Trust.

As reported in later editions of last night's Evening Times, Celia, a commercial property entrepreneur and trustee of Glasgow Art Club, wants to raise cash to safeguard the building and gift it to Glasgow.

The move will mean the Grade-A listed building will have Scottish ownership for the first time in decades.

The Glasgow woman was spurred on following the tragic fire at the Art School in May.

Celia said: "The Willow Tea Rooms is an iconic building, and I couldn't simply stand by and watch it deteriorate.

"I am a proud Glas-wegian and I want to see its heritage preserved for the generations to come.

"I started this project more than a year ago.

"The recent tragic fire at the Glasgow School of Art has underlined to me, and others, that we really do need to act to safeguard what remains of Mackintosh's work."

She has taken own-ership of the tearooms and aims to generate at least £900,000 to fully restore it.

"Above all, we intend that this project will be sustainable," she said.

"The Trust will ensure that after the renovation work the building will be financially secure and that due care and attention will be given to the building forever."

Staff are overjoyed with the news.

Anne Mulhern, who runs the restaurant said: "After years of uncert-ainty, I am relieved that we now have ownership back in Glasgow with someone who cares about the building and will make sure that Mackintosh remains open for business."

Historic Scotland have described the building, designed in 1903, as "one of Scotland's greatest cultural assets".

Bailie Liz Cameron, of Glasgow City Council, said the news was "very welcome".


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