Dentons helps to secure a much-loved riverside landmark in Glasgow Green for future generations

West Boathouse. (Photo: David Collie)

THE GLASGOW team of the world’s largest law firm, Dentons, provided pro bono advice which has enabled Glasgow Building Preservation Trust to restore The West Boathouse, Glasgow Green.

The restoration project, valued at £3.05 million, was spearheaded by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust (GBPT) working with conservation architects, ARPL Architects. It has revitalised the popular historic building, ensuring its longevity for years to come.

Dentons provided legal support pro-bono, with experts in Real Estate, Construction and Tax offering their advice and expertise voluntarily. This enabled organisers to drive the project to completion while working to a limited budget.

The project was started in 2017. Delays in completion were experienced due to more extensive building work being required than originally anticipated and the Covid 19 pandemic.   Dentons continued to offer its support throughout the duration of the works.

As a result of the transformation, the Category B Listed structure has enhanced accessibility, new facilities featuring versatile and adaptable spaces and a new custom pontoon which offers access to the river for all participants, contributing to a broader range of activities and experiences.

Susan Gillon at Dentons, said: “Community is at the heart of our local work, and with many of our team based in Glasgow, this was a perfect initiative for us to help with. 

“Our culture is proudly purpose-driven at Dentons, and we strive to connect the power of our people, clients and communities to ensure we are able to provide meaningful support. When we were approached by GBPT for legal advice, we jumped at the chance to use our legal skills to help save this historic building. Our local community was still reeling from the second devastating fire at The Glasgow School of Art and we wanted to do everything we could to save another at-risk building from potential disaster. 

“There are many buildings at risk in Scotland and restoration of The West Boathouse was an incredible project that meant a lot to so many people –  it is very gratifying to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition.”

The project has run in tandem with community heritage activities in a bid to encourage new audiences and people to re-engage with the River Clyde.

The Glasgow Building Preservation Trust also worked with volunteers from Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club and Clyde Amateur Rowing Club to further encourage new users and audiences into the building and onto the river with Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club taking over as tenants of the building.

The project, which has taken five years to develop and completed in December 2022 was funded by several groups, including the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, The Robertson Trust, Glasgow City Council and the William Grant Foundation.

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