The Willow Tea Rooms Trust Wins Heritage Lottery Fund Support

We are thrilled to announce that The Willow Tea Rooms Trust has gained initial support* for a £3.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to secure the future of Scottish Architect and Artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s only remaining Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street Glasgow.

The Willow Tea Rooms Trust, which was set up to acquire and restore the building, has already secured £250,000 of grant funding from Glasgow City Council in September, £200,000 from Glasgow City Heritage Trust, £175,000 from Dunard Fund and £10,000 from The Architectural Heritage Fund.

This has allowed the Trust to commence a first phase of work to restore the exteriors to what they were in 1903 and to weatherproof the building. To fully restore the Tea Rooms and develop an Exhibition and Education Centre in the adjacent building involves a total project cost of £6.8 million.

“We are extremely pleased that The Heritage Lottery Fund agrees that saving The Willow Tea Rooms is important, and is willing to help us achieve our aim of creating a proper legacy for the generations to come,” explained Celia Sinclair, Founder and Chair of The Willow Tea Rooms Trust.

“The Willow Tea Rooms is an iconic building and we need to act to safeguard what remains of Mackintosh’s work. Above all, we intend that this project will be sustainable and have a legacy. 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.”

Commenting, the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Head of Scotland Lucy Casot said: “What better way to celebrate the Year of Architecture than devising a plan to save the famous Tea Rooms by one of Scotland’s greatest and most influential designers who is admired around the world. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are delighted to give our initial support to a project which will rejuvenate and restore the Willow Tea Rooms so that their unique ambiance and design can be enjoyed as it was first intended.”

Planning permission for the renovation and development of the Tea Rooms along with the Mackintosh Exhibition and Education Centre in the adjacent building has been granted by Glasgow City Council.

“We will create something special in Sauchiehall Street. A centre piece of the celebrations in June 2018 marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s birth. The challenge will be to raise the rest of the capital required,” concluded Celia Sinclair.

* A development grant of £250,000 has been awarded by HLF to enable the Trust to develop the plans and apply for a full grant of £3.7 million at a later date.