01 Nov 2018
GLASGOW’S iconic Kelvin Hall has been awarded a five-star rating from Scotland’s national tourism organisation.
The much-loved venue, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment, received VisitScotland’s top Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme accolade in recognition of its exceptional customer service and high-quality facilities.
The project to renovate Kelvin Hall is being delivered in partnership by Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, the University of Glasgow, The Hunterian and the National Library of Scotland.
The £35m first phase was completed at the end of 2016 and has breathed new life into the building; transforming it into a centre of cultural and sporting excellence, which attracts around 12,000 visitors each week.
VisitScotland’s QA Scheme is the benchmark for quality across the country’s tourism industry and rewards accommodation providers, visitor attractions and food and drink sector operators.
Jim Clarkson, VisitScotland’s Regional Leadership Director, said: “Congratulations to Kelvin Hall for this outstanding achievement. An incredible amount of time, effort and investment has been put into improving the venue and it has certainly paid off. This accolade is testament to the hard work put in by the whole team and I am delighted to be presenting this well-deserved recognition.
“Our Quality Assurance Scheme is about more than just the ‘stars’ on the door, it is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. Delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.”
Earlier this year, Kelvin Hall received a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) – the largest eco-certification programme of its kind in the world – for its “highly impressive” commitment to sustainability and accessibility.
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “As an inspirational cultural and sporting complex of international scale and quality, Kelvin Hall is a game changer for Scotland's cultural image. Five star status from VisitScotland is a real reflection of the quality and diversity of the visitor offer within Kelvin Hall as well as the tremendous effort by everyone that works in the building to deliver the highest possible standards.”
National Librarian, Dr John Scally said: “Our national collections are mostly housed in Edinburgh, so joining Kelvin Hall was a great opportunity to extend our reach to the most populous city in Scotland. Kelvin Hall is the home of our moving image, sound and digital collections, and we are continually finding new ways to take our collections to the people of Glasgow.
“Although it comes as no surprise, we’re thrilled the space has gained a five-star rating from VisitScotland and we look forward to working with our partners to further develop the visitor experience.”
Steph Scholten, Director of The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, said: “Kelvin Hall is a truly special facility that has transformed the ways in which The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow makes its collections accessible to ever-widening audiences. This five-star rating from VisitScotland is a real endorsement of the outstanding scale and quality of our offer.”
A free family fun day is being held within Kelvin Hall next month to mark the second anniversary of the building having reopened to the public in 2016.
Taking place on Saturday, November 10th from noon until 4pm, a programme of free activities themed around the circus and carnival will be on offer, including circus-themed films at the National Library; art and craft workshops; tumbling taster sessions at Aerial Edge; Glasgow Club Gymnastics Academy demonstrations and animal skull handling sessions from The Hunterian.
A number of other visitor attractions in Glasgow have also collected VisitScotland awards recently.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Riverside Museum have each attained the national tourism organisation’s Taste Our Best Award; recognising their commitment to serving and promoting high-quality, locally-sourced produce.
Both Kelvingrove and the Riverside are also shortlisted in the best visitor attraction category at the regional final of the Scottish Thistle Awards – considered Scotland’s tourism industry ‘Oscars’ – which will be announced at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on Thursday, November 29th.