160 years ago an advert was posted by John Brand in The Era looking ahead to the opening of ‘The Britannia’ inviting ‘first-class talent of all descriptions’ to perform at his new music hall in Glasgow.  

The Era © The British Library Board

The Panopticon Trust’s history is not quite as illustrious, but in celebration of this important birthday we wanted to share highlights from our first year and our journey so far and invite you to make a Panopticon Birthday Donation.

On the 21 December 2018 we were formally constituted as the Panopticon Trust and became a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, to lead on the purchase and restoration of one of Glasgow’s truly iconic buildings.

Our vision is to see the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall once again operating as a vibrant entertainment and performance venue for the whole of Glasgow and beyond as well as a fully accessible building with open doors for all, serving as a hub for the local community.

Read on to find out about the milestones we reached in 2019, our plans for 2020, and help pass on our thanks to those that have been instrumental in getting us to where we are today.
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In 2019:

  • We raised £5,734 from the Architectural Heritage Fund and £5,000 from the Stafford Trust.
  • We raised £1,000 from individual donations and our public fundraising campaign.
  • We created a website, new identity and branding with thanks to Alex Brady, and architecture and design practice Stallan-Brand and illustrator Nicola Jones.
  • We held a reception at the 30th Glasgow Door’s Open Day, started community conversations and became involved in local regeneration networks.
  • We strengthened our board and now have seven very active and committed trustees – Denise Differ, Graham Hunter, Chris Lang, Mhora Samuel (our Chair), Emma Schad, Trevor Schuster-Davis, and Craig Wilson.
  • We were generously supported by our Capital Project Advisory Board and have been advised by Architectural Heritage Fund, Community Enterprise in Scotland, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, Glasgow City Council, Historic Environment Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Trust for Scotland, and the Theatres Trust.
  • We continued to work with the Mitchell family, the current owners and progressed discussions to help us buy the building and bring it into the ownership of the Panopticon Trust.

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OUR HOPES AND PLANS FOR 2020

COMMUNITY: we want to work with people living and working in the Trongate and Glasgow and engage in new conversations on the future of the building – bringing together ideas for the restoration of this unique music hall. We want to create new volunteering opportunities to support the work of the Panopticon Trust. And we’ll continue to work closely with the Friends of the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust.

CAPITAL: we will continue to fundraise and develop our fundraising capacity to deliver the feasibility study planning phase of the project.

ACQUISITION: we intend to progress our work with the owners in order to purchase of the building and to take it into public ownership.

FEASIBILITY: we will complete a feasibility study by the end of 2020 exploring all areas of the project, to buy and restore the Panopticon.

Britannia Panopticon Balcony – restoration would bring these bench seats back into use
Photo: Damian Rose

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ON THE 26 DECEMBER 2019
WE CELEBRATE 160 YEARS OF THE BRITANNIA PANOPTICON


PLEASE HELP US CELEBRATE OUR BIRTHDAY BY MAKING A PANOPTICON BIRTHDAY DONATION TODAY

DONATE ONLINE OR TEXT the word PANOPTICON  to 70085
TO FOLLOW OUR STORY – FIND US ON FACEBOOK and TWITTER
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Britannia Panopticon Attic – restoration would create more usable community space 
Photo: Damian Rose

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BRITANNIA PANOPTICON MUSIC HALL

AN ICON OF GLASWEGIAN SOCIAL HERITAGE AND ARCHITECTURE

AN ICON OF SCOTTISH WORKING-CLASS CULTURAL LIFE

AN ICON OF BRITISH MUSIC HALL, CINEMA, MAGIC AND POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT HISTORY

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ORGANISATIONS AND PEOPLE WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK

WE COULDN’T HAVE GOT THIS FAR WITHOUT:

Funders: The Architectural Heritage Fund and the Stafford Trust.

Individual donors: Ailsa Boyd, Roberta Doyle, Alison Escobar, Mike Fraser, Steve Green, Stacey Greig, Jason Hix, Graham Hunter, Angela Lowe, Alison McLeod, Dorothy McMillan, Linda Murphy, Trevor Schuster-Davis, Graeme Smith AND OUR MANY ANONYMOUS DONORS.

Advisors and in-kind donors: Jude Barber, Gordon Barr, Alex Brady, Tom Clarke, Sinclair Curdie, Alan Davidson, Liz Davidson, Rosie Davies, Paul Doherty, Roberta Doyle, Ian Elder, Mike Fraser, Gwilym Gibbons, Georgios Gkintziris, Irene Graham, Nina Graham, Steve Green, Fife Hyland, Alison Irvine, Chris Leslie, Matthew Lloyd, Nicola Jones, Paul Maloney, Andrew McConnell, William McIntyre, Mitch Miller, Sarah Pearce, Michelle Roberts, Graeme Smith, Paul Stallan, Nicola Walls, Wasps, Annette Whitelaw, Richard Williams, Mark White, Gordon Wylie.

And a special thanks to Judith Bowers and the team of dedicated volunteers, staff and trustees of the Friends of the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust, who keep the doors of the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall open throughout the year.

Everyone at the Panopticon Trust wishes you a very lovely festive season and a wonderful 2020.