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Glasgow City Council

Community decides on plans for civic space and bandstand at Saracen Cross

'The Benches' or 'The Cobbles' as the space is known locally is set to undergo a £120,000 refurbishment as part of a community planning Possilpark/ Ruchill Thriving Places initiative.

The space, located near Saracen Cross at Balmore Road in Possilpark, is presently home to a dilapidated bandstand, concrete seating and overgrown areas around the periphery.

The poorly lit area has become a target for anti-social behaviour with people mainly passing through it as a means to get somewhere else.
Over the last six months views and opinions have been sought from local schools, community groups and residents on what improvements they would like to see to the area and how it could be used in the future.

Feedback from the community was turned into three design options that were then put out to the 'Big Vote'. More than 1500 people took part in the selection process with the winning design proposing a new bandstand as the centrepiece of an attractive events space.

There will also be a market area where local businesses can provide pop-up stalls or a small outdoor market.

Parkour (adventure play) and activity areas will provide a focus for young people and space for use by different age groups at different times of the day.
Locals were also keen to retain some of the greenspace and so creating a biodiverse environment is very much part of this project, with a wildflower meadow, sensory garden and long grass areas included to generate wildlife habitats.

New seating, bins and picnic tables will mean that locals can also spend time relaxing in the area and regular cleaning of The Cobbles will spruce up the civic area and encourage further socialising and events.

Following the recent public consultation and vote result, the winning design is set to be put out to tender shortly.  Once the contractor is appointed, the project will start in earnest Spring 2016. It is anticipated that locals will be able to begin using the new civic space when it is unveiled next summer.

Councillor Soryia Siddique, executive member for communities and citizenship, said: "This Thriving Places project really has the community planning ethos at its heart. Engagement and consultation with locals about the improvements they want to see have been central to everything about this project and is one of the reasons that it will be successful.

"Once completed the possibilities for this new space and meeting place are limitless. It will be for the community to say how they want to use it but performances at the bandstand, community events and markets all within a safe and welcoming central hub are great ideas. I look forward to visiting the project as it begins to take shape."

Councillor Chris Kelly, chair of the Possilpark/ Ruchill Thriving Places group said "I am very pleased the regeneration of the Millennium Square and bandstand area in Possilpark is progressing, particularly as local residents have been key to deciding how it is improved.

"I hope that the area will become one that all local people can use and enjoy, providing a multi-use space for a range of events and activities for the whole community."

Funding for the project has been gained from Glasgow City Council and Sportscotland.

Glasgow Community Planning Partnership brings together key public private, community and voluntary representatives to deliver better more joined-up public services for Glasgow's residents. It aims to improve lives and communities by working together at a local level with local people to do this and focus on shared priorities and goals.

Thriving Places is the name given to an intensive neighbourhood approach that targets specific areas of the city making better use of existing assets and resources and creating more effective working across partners.  Across the city there are nine Thriving Places project areas that have been identified as having consistent levels of inequality relative to other parts of the city including when looking at child poverty, health indictors and levels of unemployment and require a targeted method.



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