Burrell Project Stories

Community involvement

Group of adults looking at objects from a handling box

The philosophy behind the refurbishment is to make the Collection, which belongs to the people of Glasgow, accessible to all. What better way to understand why you visited, and why you didn’t, than to ask?

Over the last decade thousands of you have generously given your time to assist with interviews, focus groups, surveys, workshops and testing design ideas. This invaluable feedback has influenced:

  • the design of displays
  • the stories on show and how they are told
  • accessibility
  • sustainability

Working together


displays were created through community partnerships


community groups co-created displays


schools helped bring objects to life


groups created handling boxes to take the museum out to the community


nurseries helped shape the outdoor pre-5s playscape

Over 15,000 people from diverse organisations have contributed. Representing all age groups, from pre-5’s at Pollok Children’s Nursey to older adults from Wing Hong Chinese Elderly Centre, all faiths through Interfaith Scotland, all genders via work with several LGBTQ+ groups and the input of many with additional accessibility requirements.

William Burrell collected from across the continents, it was his passion. He invested his money in works of art, learned from them and showcased beautiful pieces in his home. They tell stories of people, power and making around the globe, over many centuries, and of Glasgow’s relationship with the world.

By involving local groups, works of art Sir William collected are used in a new way, to tell their story in displays that are relevant to new and returning visitors. This collaborative approach has given people who live near The Burrell an opportunity to communicate what is important to them and see that represented inside the museum.

These partnerships also shaped the public and schools programme. Many of the displays focus on making and tell the story of those who made the works of art, sometimes hundreds of years ago. Research to create these displays also helped inform the live making sessions that will be on offer after opening, demonstrating these crafts and allowing you to get hands on.

The Burrell will be a thriving, dynamic place where people become connected to the Collection through doing. 
Caroline Learning and Access Curator
A group of small children interacting with objects from the Burrell Collection
Group of adults looking at objects from a handling box
Large group of children looking at an object in a glass cabinet
Women viewing Burrell Object in a display

The stories behind the project

Read more from our series of bite-sized stories and discover how we have worked with the local community and conducted extensive visitor research to help create a world class, family-friendly museum.

Burrell Project Stories