Planning permission granted to breathe new life into historic church in Glasgow’s West End

Hillhead Baptist Church images from EMA Architects

PROPERTY developer, Wemyss Properties, has been given the green light to build an exclusive development of 29 new flats on the site of the former Hillhead Baptist Church building, in Glasgow’s West End. 

Working in partnership with the members of Hillhead Baptist Church, Wemyss Properties are looking to retain the façade of the B-listed church, whilst securing the future of the good work that the church does in the community.

The main Sanctuary has been empty for almost two decades, as it was considered unsafe to continue to occupy. Then in 2016, the congregation took the decision to vacate The Tryst which was also beginning to deteriorate. Church services are currently held in a nearby hotel.

Subject to understanding the after-effects of the current COVID crisis, it is anticipated that work will start in 2021.  The new one, two and three-bedroom apartments, designed by EMA Architects, will be housed in a five-level contemporary extension behind a restored façade, using sympathetic materials.  

Matthew Atton, Wemyss Properties managing director, said: “We are delighted to secure detailed planning permission for this exciting development. We have been working with the trustees and the congregation of Hillhead Baptist Church now for nearly three years to try and retain the existing façade, but more importantly, to provide the church with a new facility that will ensure its presence in the community for many more generations.”

Rev Catriona Gorton, minister of Hillhead Baptist Church said:  “The church has worked for many years to find a solution which would safeguard this much-loved building, so it’s a huge relief to get the go-ahead for this sensitive scheme.  Not only will it protect this historic building, it will also ensure its future as a home for our congregation, and as a significant, and much needed, community hub for Hillhead and the surrounding area.”

The latest stories