Glasgow Life: Collated Information


This is the fuller version of an article about Glasgow Life I had hoped to publish on Wikipedia. Alas I ran into disagreements with editors, and I (currently) have little enthusiasm for pushing forward with it.

I’m preserving the content here on my own website in the hope it might be useful. It’s a copy/paste, so some links go the draft page as-is, but the numbers are valid. I’ll ‘unpick’ in due course, but should make sense.

I’ve written a post about this here too, which goes into a bit more detail about the challenge I faced. You can find a bit more on my Wikipedia user talk page too. My wikipedia user id is rleyton.

Glasgow Life

Glasgow Life[3][4] is the principle trading name and brand of Culture and Sport Glasgow, a charity based in GlasgowScotland. It is an Arms’ Length External body from Glasgow City Council[5], with operating responsibility for managing the artsmusicsportseventsfestivalslibraries and learning programmes[6]. Culture and Sport Glasgow was formed as a company in December, 2006 [7], and a registered charity from February, 2007[8] The organisation adopted the name and brand ‘Glasgow Life’ in January 2010[3][9].

It was created from the previous Cultural and Leisure Services (CLS) department at Glasgow City Council. CLS itself was formed in 1998 from the separate Archives, Libraries, Museums, Performing Arts & Venues, Sport & Leisure departments following the council’s formation in the mid-1990s[10]


Glasgow Life are responsible for six service areas[6] within the city:

Marketing, publicity and conferencing became a part of its remit when the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau became a wholly owned subsidiary in 2016[11]


A number of high-profile national and international events have taken place with significant involvement by Glasgow Life, including:

With future events planned including:


Glasgow Life operates a number of brands that are familiar to many Glaswegians, including:

  • People Make Glasgow“, the public branding for city cultural, sports and other events and publicity.
  • Glasgow Club“, the health and fitness service available at Glasgow Life sports venues

It has a number of defined sub-brands[15]

  • Glasgow Arts
  • Glasgow Communities
  • Glasgow Events
  • Glasgow Libraries
  • Glasgow Museums
  • Glasgow Music
  • Glasgow Sport
  • Young Glasgow

Size and scale

Glasgow Life is of the largest organisations of its type in the United Kingdom, with 2,660 staff, and 850 volunteers, and claims to be the largest museum operator in the UK outside of London.[2]. It is the 9th largest Scottish charity by income, and the 10th by expenditure[16]

Rogerson and O’Neill (2018)[10] state “the formation of Glasgow Life represented one of the highest profile transfers of functions from a council to a charitable Trust in the UK” and that “…the inclusion of libraries was unprecedented[17]

Attendance figures

Glasgow Life directly managed venues (including festivals and events 2017+)17,158,16717,515,84817,541,99818,108,25418,306,44218,893,087
Community Facilities1,473,7701,333,4621,372,6141,523,9181,500,6531,446,648
Glasgow Arts, Music and Cultural Venues351,432911,123839,967881,337824,0871,637,323
Glasgow Libraries5,537,1545,335,9805,260,4375,462,2815,001,3784,659,474
Glasgow Museums3,196,6373,590,0703,897,3283,840,9533,928,2973,826,273
Glasgow Sport6,599,1746,345,2136,171,6526,398,8386,267,6996,941,711
Glasgow Events712,416*1,300,000*488,359*1,059,079*784,328381,658

* – Figures for Glasgow Events reported separately, and not included in total figure, until 2017-18 report onwards.


The charity is controlled by Glasgow City Council. It is governed by a Board of directors[24], consisting of:

There are a number of sub-committees, including:

The Chair is Councillor David McDonald, and the Executive Director is Bridget McConnell.

Board agendas and minutesare regularly published on the charity’s website.


The majority of the income for the organisation is provided as a service fee from Glasgow City Council, with the most recent annual report and performance review indicating this was anticipated as 67.5% of income, 25% from service users, the remainder (6.1%) from a trading company subsidiary[23]

Audited figures

Glasgow Life is regulated in its charitable activities by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), which publishes headline income and expenditure figures[8]

Financial Year endIncomeExpenditureDifference
31 March 2012[25]£117,221,000£118,274,000£(-1,053,000)
31 March 2013[25]£118,586,000£116,486,000£2,082,000
31 March 2014£129,351,000£130,186,000£(-835,000)
31 March 2015£126,032,000£130,860,000£(-4,828,000)
31 March 2016£119,535,000£120,674,000£(-1,139,000)
31 March 2017£127,268,000£124,579,000£2,689,000
31 March 2018£121,482,000£131,364,000£(-9,882,000)

Figures prior to 2012 are available from Companies House.


  1. ^ “Culture and Sport Glasgow (SC313851)”Companies House Register. Companies House. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  2. Jump up to:a b “Annual Review and Performance report 2017-18” (PDF).
  3. Jump up to:a b “Glasgow Life rebranding condemned”. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  4. ^ “Glasgow City Marketing Bureau”Glasgow Chamber of Commerce : People Make Glasgow (Glasgow Life). Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  5. ^ “Arms Length External Organisations (ALEOs)”Glasgow City Council. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  6. Jump up to:a b “Glasgow Life ‘about us'”‘Our service areas’. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ “Glasgow City Council annual accounts for Culture and Sport Glasgow”.
  8. Jump up to:a b “Culture and Sport Glasgow Charity details (SC037844)”.
  9. ^ “Board Minutes, January 2010 (Agenda item 5)” (PDF). Glasgow Life. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  10. Jump up to:a b O’Neill, Mark, Rogerson, Robert (1 February 2018). “That’s all very well in practice, but what about the theory? The case of Glasgow Life, Scotland” (PDF). Strath prints. University of Strathclyde , Glasgow.
  11. ^ “Audit Scotland 2016/17 Audit report of Glasgow City Council”(PDF). Audit Scotland. 28 September 2017.
  12. ^ “Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy: final evaluation report April 2018 –” Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  13. ^ “USE OF GLASGOW SPORT VENUES DURING 2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS”Glasgow Life. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  14. ^ “Glasgow and Scotland to host inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023”UCI. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  15. ^ “Charity Status”Glasgow Life. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  16. ^ “OSCR | The 300 highest income charities” Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  17. ^ Stevenson (ed), David (2018). Managing Organisational Success in the Arts. Research in Creative and Cultural Industries Management (PDF). Routledge Research in Creative and Cultural Industries Management. pp. 36–58. ISBN 978-1-138-73676-4.
  18. ^ “2013-14 Annual report” (PDF).
  19. ^ “2014-15 Annual report” (PDF).
  20. ^ “2015-16 Annual report” (PDF).
  21. ^ “2016-17 Annual report” (PDF).
  22. ^ “2017-18 Annual report” (PDF).
  23. Jump up to:a b “2018-19 Annual report” (PDF).
  24. ^ “Culture and Sports Governance Structure”Glasgow Life. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  25. Jump up to:a b “2013 Annual return”Group of companies accounts made up to 31 March 2013. Companies House. Retrieved 8 November2019.

External Sites

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