What we are, what we do

There is much information about the history of Pollokshields Burgh Hall on the website but we have become aware that the community of Pollokshields knows little about who runs the Trust managing the Hall, and what its charitable objectives are. Many people believe the Trust is run by the local authority, and indeed was once owned by Strathclyde Regional Council.

Although the sign welcoming visitors to Maxwell Park is located next to the Burgh Hall bin store off Glencairn Drive, this land in fact belongs to the Trust and the park land commences at the park gates. In addition, the walkway outside the glass Loggia at the back of the Hall also belongs to the Trust, although a public right of way is given for walkers/visitors to the park. When weddings are taking place guests often enjoy their drinks reception in this area, and we are mindful to reminding guests of the public park boundary and applicable local by-laws for alcohol consumption in the outdoor area. So, the cul de sac at the front of the building is entirely private property. Unfortunately, visitors to the park often abandon their vehicles in the driveway which can be a problem for suppliers of private lets, or lets who have requested a clear driveway for photos or filming. Alas, we have similar issues with dog walkers who let their dogs off their leads at the road entrance, and some owners are not as diligent as others in collecting pet waste. Not pleasant for a bridal party strolling in the grounds.

The objectives of the Trust are to run an accessible, competitively priced venue for the wider community to book space for a variety of meetings and social events. Most people know the Hall as a community and wedding venue and a typical week at the Hall probably reflects the following:

Monday - Operations team check building after busy weekend of events, deep clean is done and any weekend guests collect belongings etc. Emergency repairs actioned by operations staff. On a Monday evening each month a popular study club is held by dentists as a regular corporate event.

Tuesday - Local self financing jazz choir use hall for singing group. Often there is a masonic lodge meeting in the building also.

Wednesday - Local self financing painting group use the halls all day. In the evening another self financing local singing group rehearse.

Thursday - In the morning there is often an exercise class. Also Glasgow University use the upper hall for an Art Class. In the evening our Scottish Asian community often use the Hall for henna parties, or indeed a wedding. In summer months a book exchange runs in the afternoon.

Friday - If there is not a wedding taking place a national charity or local business may use the Hall for a PR event. Sometimes in summer there may be a wedding on a Friday, and occasionally if the Hall is free a special birthday party is held.

Saturday - Most Saturdays in the year are booked for weddings and bookings can be up to 2 years in advance. We also have set Saturday events year on year such as the WIZO charity clothes sale, Art Show and the Gin Festival.

Sunday - The building is often used for christening parties, baby showers, birthday parties and memorial services. Also we hold regular open days for those wishing to see the Hall with a view to booking an event. On these days, the luxury accommodation opposite but part of the Hall is available for viewing also.

The management of the Hall by the Trust is entirely voluntary and no Trustee receives any payment. The Hall is managed day to day by a core of part time staff and as the Trust company is not registered for VAT the staff provide no personal services other than booking, giving information and caretaking. They manage the building so that the lets booked have a beautiful, clean and functional entertaining/working space. The caretaker working that day looks after the building to protect its sustainability and to safeguard the health and safety of all guests.

As you might imagine the Hall is quite expensive to run, with the cost of insurance and cctv/fire alarm systems alone costing £1700 per month. All the income the Hall generates is reinvested in its maintenance and facilities, and as with many charities, the Hall administers a reserve account for unforeseen expenses.

Often people ask why locals cannot access during the day from the Park for toilet usage. Many often don’t appreciate that the Hall is not manned continuously throughout the day. Often there may be only one staff member in the building and viewing and access is by appointment only for security reasons, and also because of private events. In the past caretakers have allowed people to access the toilets while private events were taking place. Unfortunately, this has not always been without incident, and we have had complaints about dirty floors from soiled buggies coming from the park, and also about bottles of wine having been taken from a drinks reception. During one regular let last year, the fire alarm was set off on purpose. Alas, a typical case of the few spoiling it for the many.

Although the Trust is not VAT registered to keep letting costs down and therefore cannot run its own events providing services, the Hall can encourage local community groups and volunteers to run events of interest to the local community and we are supporting more of these. Last New Year a successful party was held and this year there will be jazz concerts and film screenings. Accordingly, the Trust is actively working with other local community groups to deliver what we know local people are looking for.

If you would like to comment on this article or have any ideas for local events please contact me on the email address below. Any contact will be treated as entirely private.

Thank You
kim@pbhalls.co.uk