Glasgow City Council has been awarded - and accepted - £2.242million for community projects in the city from the Scottish Government's Place Fund.
The projects supported by this funding are: the Fossil Grove Trust (pictured above, up to £450,000); the B-listed Mosesfield House in Springburn Park (up to £400,000); designs for some projects in the Liveable Neighbourhoods programme (£150,000); local food projects (up to £50,000 per project from a budget of £485,000); improved public toilet provision (£250,000); the development of local place plans (up to £15,000 per project from a budget of £80,000); and the Citizens Theatre (£382,000).
This new funding - for 2023/24 - adds to the £6,916,000 the city council has already been awarded through the programme (£3,699,000 for 2021/22 and £3,217,000 for 2022/23).
The Place Fund is a Scottish Government capital fund for local authorities to allocate - working collaboratively with local communities, businesses and the third sector - to develop projects that support shared local plans and aspirations under a variety of themes.
Councillor Ruairi Kelly, City Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets at Glasgow City Council, said: "This latest award of Place Fund support to community projects in Glasgow will once again benefit our people and neighbourhoods. From supporting the redevelopment of some of our best-loved public spaces and buildings and helping families to attracting investment to the areas in our city needing it most and making to easier to get around local areas, this funding will certainly improve the city's places."
Details of projects receiving this funding in 2023/24, categorised through four themes:
1. Local Place Plans
As part of The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 communities have been empowered to play a proactive role in shaping proposals for use and development of land through development of Local Place Plans. Development of these plans can be critical in supporting communities and identifying real needs for capital investments to make a positive impact. To this end, a small grant scheme is to be launched for grants of up to £15,000 for development of Local Place Plans. This funding will be targeted towards areas of greatest need and in support of development of realistic capital investments with an overall budget of £80,000 allocated.
2. Glasgow Food System Development Fund
Building on previous support through the Town Centre Fund and Place Fund, this grant fund will support community-led works in support of outcomes of the Glasgow City Food Plan. is an open call for applications to support projects, delivered by third sector organisations, which make a direct contribution to these wide-ranging outcomes. In addition, a particular emphasis shall be placed upon long term impact, where projects can demonstrate a direct improvement in the resilience of Glasgow's food system, including the growing or production of food, distribution and disposing of waste. The maximum amount per award shall be £50,000 with a budget of £485,000 is allocated to this grant programme.
3. Property and Land Strategy
Working with local communities as part of the council's Property and Land Strategy, this funding will be used to reinvigorate and repurpose historic and derelict buildings which contribute significantly to local communities, but which are currently not meeting their full potential for community benefit. Projects to be supported are outlined below:
Fossil Groveis a city asset much-loved by local residents and well known nationally and internationally. The building is currently being opened to the public once per month by the Fossil Grove Trust in collaboration with the Geological Society of Glasgow and Victoria Park Community Trust. However, this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is currently under threat of from water ingress, condensation and salt deposition which require to be addressed urgently. The Trust is working with the council's People Make Glasgow Communities team to fulfil their ambition to conserve the fossils in the long term and make them frequently available for exhibition to the public. An investment of up to £450,000 to essential works will allow the Trust to preserve this SSSI and provide better access to this gem for the local community and the wider public.
Mosesfield House in Springburn Park is a B-listed mansion house that is currently being vacated and is now under constant threat of vandalism. The People Make Glasgow Communities Team are working with NG Homes on a redevelopment of this important asset into a community facility. A feasibility study undertaken has identified a number of possible community uses that can bring this asset back into community use. Funding of up to £400,000 allocated to this asset will act as a catalyst for further capital funding to unlock the potential of this significant community asset.
Citizens Theatre is - after 141 years of use - in significantly deteriorating condition so is undergoing a complex £22million restoration and redevelopment programme to ensure its future. Given its importance as a key creative, cultural and social asset for both Laurieston and the city as a whole, it has attracted funding from the council, the National Heritage Lottery Fund, the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, and many other public and private sources. The building is owned by the council and is leased to the Citizens Theatre Ltd who are running the works with council officers working closely with them to ensure that the project is delivered successfully. However due to the scale and complexity of the project, additional funding is required to ensure its successful completion with investment of £382,000 allocated.
4. Progress designs of Liveable Neighbourhoods projects
An allocation of £150,000 funding will allow designs to progress for several Liveable Neighbourhoods (LN) projects to support a pipeline of projects in development so that in future years the Place Fund will focus on the delivery of these projects. The projects have all emerged via the LN approach and have accessibility improvements embedded as a core aspect of the project deliverables. Each project will see a rebalancing of streets to give greater priority to people making every-day journeys through walking, wheeling and cycling. A review of Tranche 1 LN activities will also be undertaken to identify further short- and medium-term opportunities for progression. The projects below will be developed:
· Govanhill-Gorbals pedestrian priority junction upgrade - technical designs for Cathcart Road junction with Aikenhead Road to improve accessibility from Govanhill to Crown Street Retail Park
· Shawlands & Strathbungo Accessibility Strategy - technical designs for Shawlands & Strathbungo Accessibility Audit with prioritized junctions' improvements for safer routes to school
· Letherby Triangle - completion of Traffic Restriction Order, procurement documentation and pre-works activities
· Maxwelton Road to Provan Road - improving walking and cycling between Blackhill and Riddrie areas
Several existing and new projects will be ready for construction in the 2024-25 financial year, and these will see accessibility, active travel and local town centre enhancements to three different neighbourhoods of the city. Allocation of capital via the Place Fund and other associated place, active travel and connectivity funds will allow the development of the following projects to be fully developed: Letherby Triangle; the Dummy Railway in Possilpark/ Ruchill; and Shawlands & Strathbungo Accessibility Interventions.
5. Improved Toilet Provision
The provision of inclusive and accessible public toilets within parks, and other open spaces, has been identified to this service as something which would contribute to equalities outcomes, towards the emerging approach to Feminist Town Planning within Glasgow, and was identified by our young people as something which would contribute to the approach being taken towards increasing physical activity via Play Area Renewal.
It is proposed that Tollcross Winter Gardens include an accessible toilet, with feedback from potential operators of this facility that this would enhance the financial sustainability of any operating model, thereby reducing future council costs in operating the building.
A £10million national Changing Places Fund was announced as part of the Programme for Government, but in the absence of timescale for the fund being launched it is proposed that this service continue to increase provision where appropriate opportunities arise. A review of high-footfall parks not currently served by a Changing Places toilet has been carried out.