THE closure of the Winter Gardens is symptomatic of a “long-term problem of a lack of investment” in the city’s public buildings, a Glasgow MSP has claimed.

John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, also said it is “no surprise” the city council knew about serious issues with the Glasgow Green glass house five years ago.

But, he added: “I am not clear how much work the council has been doing behind the scenes over the last five years in order to find a way forward.”

Mr Mason, whose constituency is home to two of the five glass houses in Glasgow, said the Winter Gardens has received “huge public support” and a way to restore it and bring it back into public use must be found, the MSP said.

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However, he agreed with the “current review” of all five glass houses and said he “suspected” the days of them being used solely as exotic gardens was “no longer sustainable”.

“We will need to find potential new uses for the buildings, hopefully generating income while maintaining public access,” he said.

Glasgow City Council said yesterday it is currently examining ways to find a “sustainable future” for the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

Members of the public have branded the news, revealed by The Evening Times, that council chiefs failed to act to save the Winter Gardens five years ago, a “disgrace” and “shocking”.

David Glen posted online: “Yet another part of our heritage going, going, gone!

“It sickens me that nothing was done to help with the upkeep of this splendid building when the council knew about its decay five years ago.”

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May Johnston added: “It’s a disgrace. The Winter Gardens needs to be repaired. The people of Glasgow deserve better.”

Others called on city businesses to step in and help restore the building, as they did in France earlier this year when the Notre Dame Cathedral was devastated by a fire.

Ian Brown wrote: “Rust and disrepair now showing more and more. Where are all the benefactors and businesses that could gain a lot of credence and publicity from doing something about this treasure.”

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While Calder Gilchrist said: “Where are all the stinking rich entrepreneurs of Glasgow can they not contribute some of their wealth to save such an iconic Glasgow building.”