ONE of Scotland’s most popular attractions is to undergo a makeover as visitor numbers continue to rise, writes Kirsteen Paterson.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow welcomes more than 1.1 million people every year, making it the city’s top draw and one of the most-seen sights in Scotland.

Yesterday, museum managers Glasgow Life launched a £10,000 fundraising drive to finance an overhaul of the popular Life Gallery, home to the attraction’s collection of natural history specimens and items from world cultures.

Independent charity Friends of Glasgow Museums has already given around £50,000 to the two-year project, which is scheduled to begin in October.

The scheme will be the first significant development of the Life Gallery since the west end museum reopened in July 2006, and will see a host of new specimens from the Glasgow Museums collection added to displays.

They include a leopard donated to the city by the now-defunct Glasgow Zoo, lemurs from Madagascar and the Australian duck-billed platypus.

A public consultation in Spring 2014 has informed the displays, object selection and design.

Research highlighted that visitors wanted more information about the exhibits, including where in the world the animals come from, their diet, lifespan and other ecological information.

The Life Gallery is amongst the most popular parts of the museum for children and families and yesterday teenage nature blogger and author Jake McGowan-Lowe, pictured, inspected the bone of an extinct New Zealand bird the moa at the site.

The 13-year-old said: “I’ve visited Kelvingrove many times, it’s a real favourite. My family brought me here several times when I was young and I’m certain marvelling at the natural history collection helped spark my interest in bones. ”

The fundraising campaign was launched as new figures reveal the number of tourists visiting Glasgow rose 37 per cent last year, bringing the overall tourism spend to £687 million.

Meanwhile, the Great Britain Tourism Survey reveals domestic visitors made more than 2.1 million trips to Glasgow last year.