A community in Cardonald gathered together recently to celebrate the official opening of Halfway Community Park at Moss Heights Avenue.
Led by Southside Housing Association with support from a wide range of funders including Glasgow City Deal through the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP) – the £2.2m project to create the park has transformed underused greenspace as well as reducing flood risk.
This community-led project has significantly enhanced the natural environment – converting existing open space to the front of the high-rise flats into an ecologically diverse landscape with seating, exciting play spaces, improved accessibility and the creation of ‘homezones’ to enable children to play safely away from vehicles. A range of surface water management features have also been delivered including swales and raingardens to help reduce the risks and impacts of flooding within the local area and downstream.
Councillor Kenny McLean, Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm said: “Halfway Community Park is a fantastic infrastructure project which has completely transformed a previously underused area of urban greenspace for the benefit and enjoyment of local people. As part of the Glasgow City Deal funded Surface Water Management Plan for Hillington and Cardonald – integrating drainage interventions with landscape enhancements will reduce flood risk and open up new possibilities for further regeneration in the area.”
Local resident and Chairperson of the Friends of the Halfway Community Park, Alison Devlin said: “It’s great to see the Park in use by kids and their families. It’s hard to remember that not so long ago there was no play equipment and the cars dominated the space around the flats. It feels so much safer and welcoming now.”
Pauline Fletcher, Community Programmes Manager at Southside Housing Association said: “The Park was like a lifeline during the last 18 months with so many restrictions on normal life. It offered space to play and meet others safely. We’re delighted to finally celebrate the Park alongside the community. Despite the rain families came along and enjoyed games, food, face painting and entertainment.”
Arthur Keller, Head of Structural Funds at NatureScot said: “We are delighted that the ERDF Green Infrastructure Fund was able to support the creation of the Halfway Community Park, which was led by Southside Housing Association. The pandemic has demonstrated clearly how important a nature-rich environment and good greenspaces are for everyone. The green infrastructure created at Moss Heights has already proved extremely popular and will be an asset for the local community and nature for many years to come.”
The Halfway Community Park project saw a wide range of funders join forces with Southside Housing Association to deliver its aspirations, including Glasgow City Deal, the European Regional Development Fund’s Green Infrastructure Fund, ENV 2, EB Scotland, FCC Communities Funding and the Glasgow Tree Lover’s Society.
Both the UK and Scottish Governments are providing the Glasgow City Region local authorities with £500 million each in grant funding for the Glasgow City Region City Deal.