Civic Room is an organisation in Glasgow and London that curates events, exhibitions and projects to share a critical engagement between artists, built urban spaces and communities. Housed in a former British Linen Bank, Civic Room will produce a two year programme developed with an advisory including architects, artists and designers.
The British Linen Bank (initially called the British Linen Company) was established by a Royal Charter in 1746. The new company was empowered to “carry on the Linen Manufactory” in all its branches, the word ‘British’ in its title was a reflection of the suspicion aroused by all things Scottish after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.
Although the initial aim of the company was to promote the linen industry, from the late 1760s, it moved towards banking and began issuing notes. The bank continued to grow throughout the 19th century. Other than a temporary paralysis in trade in the late 1850s following the collapse of the Western Bank (along with the suspension of the City of Glasgow Bank), the British Linen Company survived most economic depressions relatively unscathed. In 1906 the company formally changed its name to the British Linen Bank. (LLoyds Banking Group archive)