Up to £90m invested in regeneration of Central Govan

Glasgow City Council has outlined the ongoing success of the regeneration of Central Govan, with investment of around £90 million since 2006, and plans for the area’s future.

The investment has seen new homes, business and community space in Govan as well as more attractive streets, shops and public spaces.

The council’s neighbourhoods, housing and public realm committee considered the report, which focused on the two main programmes in the area, the Central Govan Action Plan (CGAP) and the Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative (GCTHI).

CGAP – established in 2006 – is a community-led partnership and investment framework that guides the physical regeneration of Central Govan, and GCTHI is a grant giving programme funded by Glasgow City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and Historic Environment Scotland (HES), that aims to regenerate Govan town centre by both investing to make the best of Govan’s exceptional historic built environment and using local heritage as a vehicle for community learning and skills development.

CGAP Regeneration Strategy has more recently focused on realising the potential of Govan’s waterfront through the masterplanning of the strategically important Water Row site – as a location with over 200 new homes and over 3,550 square metres of commercial space – and the redevelopment of the A-Listed Govan Old church as a major cultural destination featuring the Govan Stones and an enterprise hub with over 800 square metres of high-quality office space on the river’s edge. The restoration and re-use of the B-Listed Lyceum – a former 1930s ‘super-cinema’ – as a community-owned concert and events venue and the implementation of active travel routes are other key CGAP priorities.

The first five-year phase of GCTHI operated from 2009-2015 and resulted in £4.3m investment levered into Govan, and a second phase, including an HES-funded Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme was launched in September 2016, running to 2021. Phase 2 is expected to lever £5.8m investment to the area, based on a Common Fund of £4.118m (HLF £1.8m, HES £1.0m and GCC £1.3m).

Significant progress has been made on the delivery of the GCTHI’s second phase, including work on four of the six targeted listed buildings to be repaired – Govan & Linthouse Ancillary Building, where four new apprentices from local company John Fulton Plumbers have been employed, 883 Govan Road, the former Hills Trust School and Govan Old.

In addition, the third and final phase of public realm improvement at Govan Cross will begin in early 2019, and GCTHI is funding improvements to the Govan Old entranceway and the Govan War Memorial, as well as facilitating community engagement including an archaeological dig that aims to increase visitor numbers to Govan Old.

Other ongoing GCTHI projects are a £850,000 Traditional Shopfront Improvement Grant Scheme, with 28 shops currently involved in appointing a design team before work begins in Spring 2019, and a number of community learning and training projects have been delivered with notable highlights including a songwriting project and series of concerts that introduced a new audience to Govan Old.

GHA becomes first RSL to win Best Development at national property awards

The new homes in Dougrie Drive

A development by Glasgow Housing Association of 130 homes for social rent in Castlemilk has been hailed as the best in Scotland.

The new homes in Dougrie Drive scooped the Best Development at the Herald Property Awards 2018, seeing off tough competition from some of the biggest names in housebuilding. It is the first time a Registered Social Landlord has won the best development category.

The £14.8 million Castlemilk project, which includes an amenity block of 44 homes designed for older tenants, was one of two developments by GHA, part of Wheatley Group, to win at the prestigious awards.

GHA and its partner Lowther Homes also scooped the Best Regeneration category for their development of 105 social and mid-market homes on the site of an old tram depot in Harvie Street, Govan.

The GHA team receiving their award

Wheatley Group’s development director, David Fletcher, said: “We are very proud of the quality of homes we are building in our communities and are delighted to have been recognised in this way.

“The redevelopment of the tram depot in Govan is certainly a stunning example of how we’re bringing new life back into communities while providing people with affordable homes to rent. Dougrie Drive is also a great development and a very worthy winner in the Development of the Year category.”

The awards success comes just months after Wheatley was confirmed – for the second year running – as the UK’s largest builder of social-rented homes by Inside Housing.

The group is progressing an ambitious building programme, from 2015 through to 2025, of 7500 affordable new homes from Balloch and Dumbarton through Glasgow, West Lothian and Edinburgh to North Berwick.

The Herald Property Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of those who design, build, convert, renovate, buy, sell and manage homes across Scotland. The event, hosted by comedian Des Clarke, was attended by 500 people.

Southside Housing Association delivers £15.4m housing upgrades project

(from left) Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm at Glasgow City Council; Margaret McIntyre, chairperson of Southside Housing Association; tenant Myra Thompson; Paul Hush, development officer at Southside Housing Association and Gavin Taylor, managing director of CBS

Hundreds of Glasgow residents are set to benefit from a massive housing regeneration project being delivered by Southside Housing Association.

The Association is currently renovating 153 properties across the Pollokshields East and Strathbungo areas of the city.

Almost 100 properties, ranging in size from one to seven bedrooms, have been completed and are occupied, with the remainder scheduled to be completed later this year.

The £15.4 million scheme – which was funded in part by a substantial grant from Glasgow City Council’s Department of Regeneration Services (DRS) – was targeted at transforming properties in disrepair, empty long-term or un-factored.

One happy tenant, Myra Thompson, moved to her two bedroom property on Albert Drive in October last year.

The 50-year-old is originally from Pollokshields but left when she was a child and has now moved back to the area 45 years later.

She said: “It’s wonderful to come back to this area of the city.

“I left a flat in the private rental sector. Even though I was renting it and had been in for a little while, it always felt like it was someone else’s home.

“But here I feel much more like it is my own, even though it’s the housing association and I’m still renting, the flat feels like my home.

“It is a lovely warm, bright and attractive flat. The area is really friendly and welcoming too. It is really just a fantastic place to live.”

Margaret McIntyre, chairperson of Southside Housing Association, said: “These homes will provide quality housing for local people, and we are very proud of our role in delivering this essential housing to Glasgow. We have worked hard to create sustainable homes for families and individuals, and it is always a pleasure to see the first people move in.”

Some of the properties will be made available to people from Southside Housing Association’s housing list or homeless households referred to them by Glasgow City Council, whilst others will provide mid-market rent homes aimed at working people on modest incomes who want a positive alternative to private renting or owner occupation.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “The renovation of these homes in Pollokshields East and Strathbungo will see many of them transformed to provide housing that is sustainable and a real asset to these communities.

“I am delighted that the council was able to support this project, one of many across Glasgow just now that are helping to bring high-quality homes to people and families in the city.”

Construction, renovation and refurbishment specialist Contract Building Services (Scotland) (CBS) is the lead contractors across the project.

Gavin Taylor, managing director of CBS, said: “I am delighted that CBS has been chosen by Southside Housing Association as their preferred delivery partner for the refurbishment of these properties.

“Working closely with Southside Housing Association and their private acquisition programme provides us, as a small to medium enterprise, an opportunity to invest in the local area, providing local employment, training and developing supply chain opportunities.”

Work includes installing new kitchens, bathrooms, windows and heating systems, rewiring, and removing old plasterwork with some structural and rot works.

The acquisition programme has also enabled the Association’s factoring team to take on the property management role in closes where individual properties have been acquired.  This is part of the Association’s strategy to drive up property management standards within mixed tenure blocks in the area.

Glasgow to progress Clyde quay wall projects with third parties

Glasgow City Council is to work with the third party owners of quay walls on the Clyde close to the city centre to help unlock the full potential of the waterfront and continue the river’s regeneration by upgrading and repairing these key parts of the city’s infrastructure where necessary.

A decision was taken at the local authority’s city administration committee today to progress three notes of interest from third party owners, developing proposals and continuing negotiation.

The funding for these projects will come from the Glasgow City Region City Deal as part of its £115 million Clyde Waterfront and West End Innovation Quarter project, with approximately £50m allocated for quay wall works. Much of the ownership of quay walls in this area lies outwith the council. It is anticipated that around £15-20m will be available to third-party owners for their quay wall projects.

In June 2018, the council invited expressions of interest from third party owners and after consideration of eight bids through criteria including deliverability and alignment with City Deal objectives, three projects that were judged to be most likely to bring significant economic benefit were selected.

These projects were:

  • SEC Limited – upgrading quay walls on the north-bank of the Clyde adjacent to the Scottish Events Campus (SEC). These walls are assessed as in poor structural condition and do not provide adequate flood defence with the western section of the site within the 1:200 year flood- risk area. City Deal funded quay wall works represent an opportunity to address flood risk and to provide a positive place context for delivery of the proposed campus expansion which will generate significant additional economic output. Any subsequent redevelopment of the SEC West site would further uplift the economic contribution to the City Region, providing additional floorspace and employment.
  • Drum Property Group – redevelopment of the area around the Canting Basin. The basin has lain vacant for over 30 years. A planning application has been submitted and is currently under consideration. Quay walls at the site are in poor condition and do not provide adequate flood defence. Pedestrian and cycle access along the river edge is not currently possible at this location due to the condition of the site. Density of the development has been reduced due to the need to design around previously unidentified active tie rods which support the quay wall. As a consequence a 30m standoff from the Canting Basin is required meaning that the scope of the public realm works has increased significantly. A contribution from City Deal funding of £350,000 is sought towards total Phase 1 project costs of £20.5m, to deliver high specification public realm works and establish pedestrian and cycle access along the river edge to the south of the Canting Basin.
  • Drum Property Group / Spiers Gumley – Tradeston/Windmillcroft Quay. In 2017, Drum Property Group secured Planning Permission in Principle for the Buchanan Wharf mixed-use development which will deliver more than one million square feet of new commercial floorspace at Tradeston representing an investment in excess of £1billion. Development of this site will make a significant contribution to the economic growth of the city region. This is supported by the recent announcement by Barclays to relocate and expand operations on the site. This decision will result in the site accommodating over 5,000 employees with approximately half of the jobs new to the city.

A key element of the development is the closure of Clyde Place to road traffic in order to reduce barriers between the development site and the river edge. Drum Property Group is seeking City Deal funding towards enhancing the council-owned public realm areas that front the river in order to complement proposed public realm works within the development site.

Windmillcroft Quay is located immediately to the west of the Buchanan Wharf site. The quay wall at this location has collapsed meaning that there is no pedestrian or cycle access along a 300m stretch of the river edge between Tradeston and Springfield Quay. The condition of the quay wall at this location has been noted as a factor that may deter future developer interest at Buchanan Wharf. Spiers Gumley, who act on behalf of the 278 common owners at Windmillcroft Quay, has submitted an application for City Deal funding.

Councillor Susan Aitken, chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet and city convener for inclusive economic growth, said: “Today’s decision marks another step on the way towards the regeneration of the Clyde. Work on upgrading and repairing some of the quay walls on the Clyde is an essential part of taking the regeneration of the waterfront to another level. By working with third-party owners, we can use City Deal funding to unlock the potential of a number of sites on the banks of the river that will make a significant impact on Glasgow’s social and economic life.”

Initial feasibility and design work is ongoing in relation to council-owned quay wall sites at Custom House Quay/Carlton Place, Lancefield/Anderston Quay and the Briggait.

Homes plan submitted at former Drumchapel school site

A planning application has been lodged with Glasgow City Council for a housing development on the site of a former school in Drumchapel.

Cruden Estates want to build 48 properties on land at Katewell Avenue, where Cleddans Primary School used to stand.

Under the plans, there would be a mixture of two and three bedroom semi-detached and terraced houses.

A design document submitted by Hypostyle Architects on behalf of Cruden states: “The proposal is for residential development on a brownfield site that will provide a viable and marketable development in Drumchapel.

“The approach to development will be sympathetic to the local area in terms of density, scale and massing; being consistent with local planning policy to create a development that contributes to the local environmental quality.

“The houses will be built to the highest standards of construction and energy efficiency using high quality materials.

“They will provide an attractive addition to the existing market for good quality family housing in Drumchapel. All dwellings proposed for the site will be provided with level access to the houses and gardens. All houses will have private gardens.”

Detailed plans lodged for £90m build to rent tower on Glasgow waterfront

The ongoing revitalisation of Glasgow’s waterfront is poised to take a major step forward with the submission of a detailed planning application for a 500-apartment build-to-rent development on the banks of the Clyde.

The project at Central Quay on the Broomielaw is being led by investor, developer and property manager PLATFORM_ which said it will deliver high-quality, state-of-the-art homes to cater for a range of people living and working in the city.

Pending detailed planning consent, which is anticipated at the end of 2018, PLATFORM_ hopes to start construction of the apartments by the second quarter of 2019, with a scheduled completion date of summer 2021.

Initial planning in principal was granted for the seven-acre Central Quay site at the beginning of 2018 following a masterplan formulated by Harbert Management Corporation and XLB Property, together with Keppie and LDA Design.

Designed in partnership with Keppie, the development forms part of a wider masterplan at the Clydeside Central Quay area, which also includes 300,000 sq ft of office space and a 150 room hotel.

The PLATFORM_ managed accommodation will offer one of Scotland’s first build-to-rent opportunities, modelled on the successful and rapidly expanding concept first seen in London.

Offering a range of accommodation from studio apartments through to three-bedroom flats the development will incorporate its own shared residents lounge, onsite-concierge, roof terraces, gym, games room and a co-working space.

Matt Willcock, development director at PLATFORM_, said: “Glasgow is thriving, and our new development aims to provide accommodation which meets the demands of its growing, highly-skilled and modern workforce. Build-to-rent is a rapidly growing concept around the UK and we’re proud to offer one of the first developments in Scotland. It’s a form of accommodation we expect to continue to see across the UK, and one which will play a significant role in helping Glasgow attract and retain talent to support its major economies.

“The site will help further regenerate the Finnieston and Clydeside areas, providing award-winning building design and living space in the heart of a popular, well-connected part of the city.”

Richard MacDonald, director at Keppie Design, said: “The PLATFORM_ Central Quay design has evolved to include an iconic feature tower which will greatly enhance the Clyde Waterfront and Glasgow’s skyline. The high quality public realm and design of the scheme will also significantly improve the area.

“We look forward to being able to play a role in sustaining Glasgow’s image as a destination city for living and working and being able to further contribute to Glasgow’s Clydeside regeneration drive.”

Blog: How digital engineering excellence spurred construction in Glasgow’s financial district

By Dave Holland, engineering director at Mabey Hire

Rapid population growth and an increasingly dense urban environment means that engineering projects in city centres are becoming more intricate and complex. Whether digging new tunnels in London’s vast Tube network, navigating mazes of underground sewers, cabling and ventilation, or renovating buildings with minimal disruption to the surrounding roads, there’s a lot of pressure on engineers to deliver projects more quickly, safely and efficiently, while grappling with many margins in the process. One wrong calculation could have a serious impact.

Advancements in engineering technology is playing a key role in accelerating construction projects, such as Mabey’s recent redevelopment of Atlantic Square in Glasgow’s financial district.

Developing a unique solution for a complex engineering challenge

Working with BAM Construction, we are using a unique propping system alongside BIM services to facilitate this complex new build development. However, an added complication is that part of this new development incorporates the existing façade of a historic Grade I listed building, which needs supporting (and keeping safe) while the construction of the new 284,000 square feet office space takes place. It’s a tricky situation, but what is known as a façade-retention system provides transitional building support on the structure’s outside façade as construction is finalised and permanent supports are put in place over the next year.

Alongside retaining this historic structure, BAM Properties required a solution which would avoid full road closures in a commuter-heavy area. Using previous propping experience, we delivered a bespoke solution which reduced the width of the propping system, using the weight of the façade to create a seesaw arrangement and therefore avoiding the need for excessive kentledge. This means the main city centre one-way road networks remain open and running throughout.

Using digital expertise to transform speed, safety and efficiency

To aid bespoke and technical projects like this, in difficult locations, engineers are turning to BIM solutions, where they can brainstorm and work out differences in design at an early stage and make necessary amends before a certain element is installed.

In this case, our engineers were able to create a highly accurate 3D model, which in turn allowed them to produce a digital representation of the 175-tonne façade retention system. Through this modelling software, engineers could see how the propping solution would work, monitoring and testing for any potential clashes with the façade in advance so that measurements could be tweaked accordingly.

In fact, our construction team in Garswood could make virtual ‘site visits’ via Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, using the information to keep the customer updated on a day-to-day basis and showing them via digital images how the propping system works.

The more traditional and established approach would have used 2D drawings to assess how the retention system would perform and hold under different propping arrangements. Using the VR system saved several weeks that would have ordinarily been spent travelling to and from Glasgow for site visits, not to mention the time that might have been lost if a measurement hadn’t quite added up.

Digital engineering is transforming the speed, safety and efficiency of delivering complex construction projects like Atlantic Square, and BIM plays a key role in ensuring all parties involved are clear on progress.

This is also giving engineers the opportunity to develop and test industry-first techniques; supporting collaboration and ensuring high quality customer support based on accurate, real-time insights.

Robertson completes work on £19m student accommodation in Glasgow

New student accommodation is set to open its doors in Glasgow after infrastructure firm Robertson completed construction work.

Built on behalf of developer Vastint Hospitality, the building will offer 458 new-build student residences operated by Homes for Students.

The accommodation, which will be known as Havannah House, has already let a significant number of rooms.

Robertson commenced work on the £19 million design and build project in October 2016, with the building delivered on schedule ahead of the new term beginning.

David Cairns, managing director at Robertson Central East, said: “We are delighted to deliver new high-quality accommodation that will benefit students based in Glasgow.

“This is Vastint Hospitality’s first student accommodation development in Europe and we have worked collaboratively through the design and construction stages to create a building and environment which will enhance student living. I have no doubt that the first students who move in will be hugely impressed by the facilities, which have been designed to the highest of standards.”

The S-shaped building is set over six storeys and will feature a mix of standard, cluster and accessible rooms. Standard studios have integrated kitchen facilities, while cluster and accessible studios share one of the four communal kitchens on each floor.

The building encloses a private courtyard to the south together with a semi-public courtyard to the north. It has been designed to achieve Gold Standard under the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification scheme.

Martin Corbett, managing director, Homes for Students, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with such an intelligent client in Vastint Hospitality and with such an experienced contractor as Robertson who have completed this scheme on time and to such good quality. The testament to this is that students have voted with their feet by choosing Havannah House over other student accommodation in the city.”

Robertson Central East is close to completing work on the adjacent Moxy Hotel, which is also being developed by Vastint Hospitality.

Blog: A bigger Mac

Russell Wardrop

Following the news that the Glasgow School of Art is choosing to rebuild the fire-struck Mackintosh Building, architect Russell Wardrop thinks the project should instead be used as a great opportunity to rebuild Sauchiehall Street.

“The power the artist possesses in representing objects to himself and their tendency towards symbolism illustrates the hallucinatory character of his work. But it is the creative imagination that is much more important. The artist cannot attain mastery of his art unless he is endowed, to the highest degree, with the faculty of invention.” – Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The faculty of invention, now there is a phrase that resonates. Mackintosh was saying that drawings are just the vehicle that allow you to build, but it is the ability to envision the future that sets the visionary apart.

I doubt that the man who designed it would want the Mackintosh School of Art rebuilt. It is a long way from visionary. He would think us scaredy-cats and he would want the chance to do something better: jeez he was redesigning the original up to the last minute.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan. I saw smoke to my left as I drove along the motorway on 25 May 2014 on my way to a gig at The House For An Art Lover and the news confirmed the Mackintosh School of Art was ablaze. I cried, even though I chose to study architecture at Strathclyde University over 30 years earlier (It seemed friendlier: on such whims are entire career choices made).

What might the bold Charlie want done today, given the opportunity, once again, to make his mark? Well, as a member of the same profession who as a student in the 1980s wore similar gear but without the moustache, much of belonging to my wee sister, let me have a go.

I used to lecture engineers on the Design Of The Mac. It was a favourite class. It was a joy to see these rational mathematicals realise that what they knew of the Macintosh masterpiece, the decoration, was a mere beautiful bagatelle when sat alongside structure, form, scale, proportion, functionality and asymmetry. I imagined I was giving every future architect they dealt with an easier ride because this hour took the scale rulers from their eyes. My 35mm slides would walk them along east corridor until they found the dark library, bathed in light from tall elegant windows; we would take in the north lit studios, still functioning as intended after 100 years; they would see how those studios manifest on the north elevation, the rhythm created by structure was home turf.

So I say keep the library, the studios and the front elevation, or more accurately rebuild them faithfully. Purchase the O2 and all the buildings fronting on Sauchiehall Street, or more accurately the fag end of Sauchiehall Street.

Demolish the lot.

Have an international design competition to find a Mackintosh for the 21st century.

The transformation of that part of Glasgow would be a given, the ripple effect across Glasgow would be assured, the excitement created throughout Scotland would be palpable. We might even have decent site security on such as big project. There would be debate to be sure, in fact we might start a national debate and have a referendum, since they are always such fun. The world would take notice and I cannot think of a better way of showing that Scotland is a forward looking, savvy, risk-taking, fearless wee country than ruthlessly keeping the best bits of the Mac, binning the dodgy parts and taking the opportunity to build a stonking campus that will contain the best of every kind of design we need in the 21st century.

I was at the opening of the Willow Tearooms recently, another Mackintosh Jewel a stone’s throw from the Mac. Faithfully restored at eye watering cost it is a museum piece, with the advantage there is no need for a separate coffee and gift shop. Bravo, once you have decided to do up the tearooms everything, right down to the menus, must be faithful to the original, otherwise why bother. But they still have an extension out the back for a kitchen and other services.

Let’s not do that with the Mac. Let’s be bold and brave. Let’s use our creative imagination and exploit the faculty of invention of the greatest designers in the world to transform the fag-end of Sauchiehall Street. Let’s come up with something Charlie himself would be proud to stick his century old library on to.

In an age where portions are getting smaller let’s have a bigger Mac.

  • Russell Wardrop is co-founder and chief executive of Kissing With Confidence Training

GSA pledges to rebuild ‘The Mack’ to original designs but project ‘may take up to seven years’

How the Mackintosh Building looked before June’s fire

The landmark Mackintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) will once again be rebuilt from the original designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the institution’s chairwoman has confirmed, though the project could take four to seven years to complete.

The A-listed structure was reduced to a shell in June following a second fire in its 110-year history as a restoration project following the devastating fire four years earlier neared completion.

Muriel Gray confirmed that the building would again be restored using Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s original designs.

It has been estimated that the restoration could cost about £100 million, but Ms Gray said the school hoped to use minimal amounts of public money for the project and rely on funds from its insurance cover and a private fundraising drive.

She told The Herald on Sunday: “We are resolved that the Mackintosh comes back as a working art school, as a major player, a cultural leader for the city and the Scottish economy.”

“It is absolutely coming back. It will be beautiful. It will be as Mackintosh designed it, to the millimetre.”

Ms Gray added: “It can be rebuilt. The absolute genius of Mackintosh was his modernity. The modern technology now to do it is there, but not only that, this can be a huge project for our students and community, to be part of the rebuild, getting our own students involved in research projects as it goes up.”

Image of the Mackintosh Building from Renfrew Street looking towards Sauchiehall Street

Original plans from the Mackintosh Building, built in two stages between 1896 and 1909, are held in the GSA’s stores and at the Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, and the school also has digital BIM model from the restoration work following the 2014 fire.

Ms Gray said: “How long will a rebuild take? People argue anywhere between four and seven years.”

“That will depend on the insurance money, getting the right people in place to do it, building regulations, all the standard technical and financial stuff

“For the forensic detail we have on the building, we could practically 3D print it.”

Ms Gray said funding plans were being drawn up. “We are entirely trusting that this is not going to cost any public money at all,” she said. “We are hoping — because you don’t know what adjustments you have to make to conform to modern building standards — but that is our hope.”