A Cardonald neighbourhood is set to benefit from transformed greenspace and improved resilience to flood risk, with construction work to deliver these benefits now underway.
An underused area adjacent to high-rise flats at Queensland Court and Gardens is to be transformed into a vibrant urban park with a rich planting scheme that will incorporate an outdoor socialising space and informal woodland.
The project will also deliver dedicated toddler and children’s play spaces, a bicycle pump track, and cycle storage facilities to encourage active travel.
Sustainable drainage measures that mimic nature such as raingardens, basins and swales, will also be retrofitted on site to better manage rainwater and mitigate the likelihood of future flooding.
The joint project between Southside Housing Association and Glasgow City Council through the City Deal backed Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP), is the most recent phase of the Hillington and Cardonald Surface Water Management Plan.
The creation of this improved, more resilient community space responds positively to the climate emergency and will deliver an accessible, open space for residents enhanced through an award-winning landscape design which has been recognised by Building with Nature and the Landscape Institute.
Joining residents and representatives from Southside Housing Association and other project funders, Councillor Elaine McSporran, Chair of the Cardonald Area Partnership hailed the start of the high-quality green retrofit work at Queensland Court and Gardens.
Cllr McSporran said: “I‘m delighted to see work commencing on a project that will deliver transformative environmental benefits that meet the needs and aspirations of Queensland Court and Gardens residents.
“The greenspace improvements offered by this Glasgow City Deal backed project will encourage greater social interaction and deliver a greener, more pleasant environment for play, recreation and active travel.
“The introduction of nature-based solutions to reduce the risk and impact of surface water flooding will also ensure the future useability and enjoyment of this valuable community space.”
Alex Cameron, Chair of Southside Housing Association said: “The importance of access to good quality green space is of vital importance for physical and mental health. This is even more important for those living in high rise accommodation such as the properties at Queensland Court and Gardens.
“We have worked hard over the last four years alongside Glasgow City Council and a range of funders to get the project to this stage and we look forward to seeing residents enjoying the benefits of what the space will offer.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “This urban park will create a much-improved green space for both younger and older residents to enjoy, and hopefully be ready for them to enjoy the sun this summer.
“But even on the wettest of days the park should remain accessible to residents thanks to improved drainage that will help with adapting to climate change.
“The UK Government is supporting the project through our £523 million investment in the Glasgow City Region Deal, part of more than £2.2 billion for levelling up communities across Scotland.”
Arthur Keller of NatureScot said: “As Scotland’s nature agency, we are always pleased to support the creation of good urban green spaces. It’s well recognised that improving greenspace in urban areas, brings environmental benefits in addition to health, economic and social benefits.
“The ERDF Green Infrastructure Fund has supported several projects across Scotland, including the nearby Halfway Community Park, and we’re delighted to be working again with Southside Housing Association. The fact that they closely involve local residents was a key factor in our decision to award funding. I am convinced that as well as the surface water measures, the improvements here will be valued by the local community and will benefit nature.”
Construction at Queensland Court and Gardens is being carried out by contractor, RJ McLeod to a Sweco and Raeburn Farquhar Bowen design. Work is due to be completed by the end of June.
Additional Project Funders
The project is part of a £37.5m Scottish programme of projects to improve the urban environment of our larger towns and cities. The Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention is led by NatureScot and is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). With 81% of Scotland’s population living in urban areas, the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention aims to make larger towns and cities more attractive, equal and environmentally sustainable places to live, work and invest in.
Other project funders include the Cardonald Area Partnership (through Glasgow City Council), the Scottish Government, Green Action Trust, EB Scotland, FCC Environment, Garfield Weston Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund, Cycling Scotland, and the Clothworkers Foundation.
Both the UK and Scottish Governments are providing Glasgow City Region local authorities with £500million each in grant funding for the Glasgow City Region City Deal.