Following Friday’s devastating fire at Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, which destroyed the historic library along with the work of final-year students who were installing their degree shows, GSA has announced special bursaries for affected students.

Glasgow School of Art (GSA) director Professor Tom Inns said: “The beating heart of the GSA is its students and our priority is to ensure that all those most seriously affected by the fire are given the opportunity to rebuild their practice. The GSA will therefore create special bursaries which will enable the students have sufficient studio time to develop their practice and make new work.”

The Scottish government is working with the art school to develop the scheme and Inns added that GSA had been “overwhelmed” by support following the fire, including offers of studio space from Scottish art schools and others.

The Scottish government has also announced that it will match fund up to £5million any monies raised for the restoration of the Mackintosh building. A statement from GSA said: “This funding will be in addition to any longer-term funding requirements for building recovery and restoration, which will be supported by the Scottish Government and its agencies following full evaluation of insurance liability.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said late on Friday that 90 per cent of the structure and 70 per cent of the building’s contents were saved, despite the extensive fire. The blaze started in the basement on the west side of the building and ripped through all floors to the roof. The fire service managed to contain the fire in this section of the building, while the remainder of the building, including the Mackintosh Museum, was spared. Pictures released by GSA show that the main gallery space was untouched as the fire raged nearby.

“A cultural loss of significant magnitude”

Explaining the government’s support, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The Mackintosh Building is truly unique and last week’s fire was a devastating blow for students and staff as well as the wider arts and architecture community worldwide. The very severe damage to the building’s iconic library, in particular, is a cultural loss of significant magnitude.

“The ‘Mack’ is an extraordinary building. It is an architectural gem and the artistic heart of Glasgow. It can and will be restored, and everything which can be done must be done to deliver this. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to providing an appropriate level of financial support and we will, in the first instance, provide up to £5 million match-funding for the GSA’s The Mackintosh Building Fire Appeal.

“We will also promote this appeal through our international networks, encouraging lovers of the ‘Mack’, at home and abroad, to fund-raise to help restore this wonderful building to its former glory.”

Work is currently ongoing to clear the building of artworks, archive materials and student work.

More on the Glasgow School of Art fire:

Major fire at Glasgow School of Art

Fire service say Glasgow School of Art has been saved