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Garnethill Synagogue



Category A

Project Development Grant 

£10,000 (2019)


Built in 1879 and the oldest purpose-built synagogue in Scotland, the Category A-listed Garnethill Synagogue also retains the only active congregation in Glasgow. This richly decorated structure – melding together stylistic touches of Classical, Romanesque and Moorish detail – is built into a steep slope and includes a lower storey beneath its worship space. A dedicated store within the basement has housed the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre for many years, and now the Centre plans to adapt this space into an expanded Study Centre focusing on the story of Scotland’s Jewish community during the period of the Holocaust.

Plans for the extended Archives Centre include a new public display on the Scottish response to the rise of Nazism and the plight of refugees, a specialist library for researchers and a function room for events and school groups. In addition, new offices and kitchen facilities will enable the coordination of volunteer services to staff the Centre’s new programme of activities and outreach, including the development of hands-on learning packs for visiting schoolchildren, and an improved entrance to enhance access directly into the Archives Centre.

In 2019, the project received a Project Development Grant to help with an unplanned increase in capital costs, funded through the William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund. This fund enables the AHF to offer flexible support to projects in Scotland with potential for significant social and heritage impact. Although works were paused during lockdown, finishing touches are now in place and the new Archives Centre is due to open in Autumn 2020.

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