Scottish Canals

£1.5m project set to transform gateway to Crinan Canal

A historic disused building known locally as the ‘Egg Shed’ is to be transformed into a new heritage and community hub at the gateway to the Crinan Canal in Ardrishaig.

The £1.5 million project led by Scottish Canals will create a bespoke interpretation centre telling the story of the Crinan Canal and the communities on its banks.

From its role in the ancient Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada to the tale of Queen Victoria’s journey along the Crinan Canal, the new centre will allow visitors to step into the unique history of Mid-Argyll via an array of interactive exhibits and interpretation material.

As well as the creation of the interpretation attraction, the revamped Egg Shed project includes space for community activities that could include everything from art installations to pop-up exhibitions and opportunities for social enterprises and community groups. An array of public realm and access improvements also form part of the project, with plans to create new viewpoints and walkways around the building and new access connections with Ardrishaig.

The works, which form the first phase of the redevelopment of the former Gleaner Oil depot in the area, are expected to be complete by early 2019.

Ardrishaig Locks

Christopher Breslin, head of regeneration and development at Scottish Canals, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve worked with our partners and the local community to develop a shared vision for the future of the Crinan Canal corridor. This project marks the latest stage in the delivery of those grand ambitions and the transformation of Ardrishaig into an attractive leisure, tourism and maritime hub.

“The redevelopment of the Egg Shed will help deliver a sustainable future for Ardrishaig, creating a fantastic tourist destination and a vital community resource that will bring jobs and economic benefits to the area. We’re grateful to our funders and the local community for their support and look forward to welcoming them to the new hub in early 2019.”

The project is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Community Argyll and the Islands LEADER 2014-2020 programme; the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund; Scottish Canals; Argyll and Bute Council’s Tarbert & Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund; SUSTRANS Community Links Fund; Shanks Argyll & Bute and Argyll & Bute Council through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund; and Ardrishaig Community Trust.  A local contractor TSL, based in Oban, successfully won the contract for the project and begins work on site this week.

Aileen Morton, policy lead for economic development at Argyll & Bute Council, said: “It’s great that Ardrishaig is another step closer to having the community and business resource its residents want.  The redevelopment of this site is all about working with the local community to create jobs and boost the local economy and the project was championed by local people. The council has agreed to contribute up to a quarter of a million pounds to make this project possible, as part of our wider work to regenerate the Mid-Argyll area.”

Plans approved to create Scotland’s answer to New York’s ‘High Line’

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

Ambitious plans to create a new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line at the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal have taken another step forward with the granting of planning consent for the project.

Scottish Canals and its partners are currently fundraising for the development of the route, which will transform a 120-year-old disused railway bridge at Bowling Harbour in West Dunbartonshire into a fully accessible linear park and pathway. This new route, the latest stage of a £3.2 million project to breathe new life into the area, will form a direct link between the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath and the National Cycle Network route towards Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Helena Huws, design and development manager at Scottish Canals, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and the local community to breathe new life into Bowling Harbour, investing more than £3.2m in the area. The transformation of the area’s iconic railway bridge into an innovative new parkway overlooking the canal and the River Clyde is the next step in that story and we’re delighted that the project has received planning consent.

“Our recent win at the Scottish Government’s Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning was a fantastic accolade for the masterplan we’ve helped shape with the local community. We look forward to building on that success to bring further investment, employment opportunities and vibrancy to Bowling.”

A 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour - the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal - has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

A 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour – the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal – has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

The community-led transformation of the area is being undertaken by Scottish Canals in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council with support from the Coastal Communities Fund, Sustrans Scotland, and Historic Environment Scotland. Over the past three years, the project has refurbished the arches of the area’s decommissioned railway bridge, transforming them into commercial units and bringing new businesses, activity, vibrancy and economic benefits to the canalside community. The project was recently recognised at the Scottish Government’s Awards for Quality in Planning, taking home the prize for place-based regeneration.

Dave Keane, community links manager at Sustrans Scotland, said: “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Scottish Canals for further regeneration in Bowling.

“The project has great potential to further attract people to the area, whilst connecting the corridor as a more direct and enjoyable traffic free route. We hope this will encourage people to walk and cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.”

Bowling Harbour’s viaduct swing bridge was constructed in 1896 to carry the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway over the Forth & Clyde Canal. After the railway was abandoned in 1960, the bridge fell into disrepair. Thanks to funding support from Sustrans and Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals has undertaken vital repairs to the structure’s badly corroded metalwork and repainted the entire span.

A short summary video of the transformation of Bowling Harbour so far and a look at its future

The masterplan for the area was shaped by the award-winning Bowling Basin Charrette – a collaborative design programme which saw the local community work with other stakeholders, agencies and industry experts to develop a shared plan for its future. The village is identified by West Dunbartonshire Council as a key regeneration and development priority.

Bowling, which sits on the northern bank of the Firth of Clyde and near the western terminus of the ancient Antonine Wall, was a major transport hub during the Industrial Revolution and was vital to the success of the River Clyde, the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway.

Canal regeneration partnership agreement paves way for 2,500 Glasgow homes

Glasgow canalGlasgow City Council has given approval to entering into a partnership agreement with Scottish Canals and Scottish Water to deliver the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System (NGIWMS).

This is an innovative system that will use the Forth and Clyde Canal and new technology to tackle the capacity – and therefore potential flooding – issues that on occasion face the sewer network in the north of the city.

In addition, the work of the NGIWMS will allow for land release for the development of 2,500 homes in the area at sites such as Cowlairs, Hamiltonhill, 100 Acre Hill, Sighthill and Ruchill Hospital.

The historic development of North Glasgow saw the area’s natural watercourses being incorporated into its combined sewer network, and as a result, the network has now reached capacity.

The £4.7million NGIWMS – part-funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal – will use the Summit Pound (the canal’s highest section between Locks 20 and 21) and its Glasgow Branch as a conduit to transport surface water from North Glasgow to the River Kelvin.

The system will also use the canal to store over 55,000 cubic metres of flood storage during storms, achieving this by automatically reducing water levels – through Glasgow’s SMART City platform – in the canal 24 hours ahead of a forecasted storm / flood event.  Such action reduces the area required to be set aside on development sites for flood storage and so increases the number of potential new homes on those sites.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Today’s decision is fantastic news, and the new system will both unlock the development potential of this historic part of Glasgow and protect local homes, business and the environment from flooding using smart technology.  We look forward to working with our partners – Scottish Canals and Scottish Water – to deliver this project which will transform the north of the city, bringing great social, economic and environmental benefits.”

New York-inspired High Line path planned as new Forth & Clyde Canal link

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

An artist’s impression of the proposed linear park – inspired by New York City’s High Line – that could soon grace the top of the revamped Bowling Harbour bridge at the gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal

A new linear park inspired by New York City’s High Line could be set for the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal following the restoration of an iconic 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour in West Dunbartonshire, according to Scottish Canals.

Bowling Harbour’s viaduct swing bridge was constructed in 1896 to carry the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway over the Forth & Clyde Canal. After the railway was abandoned in 1960, the bridge fell into disrepair. Thanks to funding support from Sustrans and Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Canals has undertaken vital repairs to the structure’s badly corroded metalwork and repainted the entire span.

The latest stage of a £3.2 million transformation of the area, the completion of the bridge, together with the recent refurbishment of the bridge’s railway arches into commercial units, has ensured the structure will continue to play an important role in the area for years to come.

The transformational work at Bowling Harbour, undertaken in partnership with the local community, has brought new businesses, activity, vibrancy and economic benefits to the canal and celebrated Bowling’s important role in Scotland’s industrial past.

The 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour - the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal - has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

The 120-year-old swing bridge at Bowling Harbour – the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal – has been lovingly restored as part of the latest stage of a £3.2m transformation of the area

Helena Huws, design and development manager at Scottish Canals, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve been working with our partners and the local community to breathe new life into Bowling Harbour, investing more than £3.2m in the area. The restoration of the area’s iconic railway bridge to its former glory is the next step in that story and we’re delighted to see the project completed.

“Now we’re looking to deliver the next stages of the masterplan we’ve helped shape with the local community – bringing further investment, employment opportunities and vibrancy to Bowling, and developing a fantastic tourism and leisure destination fitting of the western gateway to the Forth & Clyde Canal.”

Fundraising is now underway for the next stage of development of the viaduct structure – transforming the former railway line into a fully accessible linear park and pathway inspired by New York City’s iconic High Line. This new route will form a direct link between the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath and the National Cycle Network route towards Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Detailed proposals have been submitted for planning approval and feature new viewpoints which will offer visitors the chance to enjoy the vistas over the canal and River Clyde.

Tom Bishop, community links manager at Sustrans Scotland, said: “This is an exciting project to work in partnership with Scottish Canals for further regeneration in Bowling.

“It has great potential to further attract cyclists and visitors, whilst connecting the corridor as a more direct and enjoyable traffic free route. We hope this will encourage people to walk and cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.”

A short summary video of the transformation of Bowling Harbour so far and a look at its future

The masterplan for the area was shaped by the award-winning Bowling Basin Charrette – a collaborative design programme which saw the local community work with other stakeholders, agencies and industry experts to develop a shared plan for its future. The village is identified by West Dunbartonshire Council as a key regeneration and development priority.

Councillor Iain McLaren, West Dunbartonshire Council’s convener of infrastructure, regeneration & economic development, said: “The Bowling swing bridge is of real historical importance and it is wonderful to see it restored to its former glory as part of this ambitious project. The work already carried out Bowling Harbour has made it a destination well worth visiting and the plans for further regeneration of the area are extremely exciting.”

Bowling, which sits on the northern bank of the Firth of Clyde and near the western terminus of the ancient Antonine Wall, was a major transport hub during the Industrial Revolution and was vital to the success of the River Clyde, the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Railway.

Michael Easson, grants manager at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “We are really pleased to see the successful completion of this first phase of work at Bowling Harbour and hope the restoration of the swing bridge is a catalyst for a wider scheme to conserve and repair the surrounding area.”

£5.5m city homes and leisure plan for derelict Glasgow site

100 Acre HillA new housing development is planned for a Glasgow brownfield site which has been lying derelict for years.

According to the Evening Times, the scheme could include hundreds of individually designed homes and flats, shops, a pub, restaurant, a hotel, leisure uses and open space.

Bigg Regeneration, a partnership between Scottish Canals and Igloo Regeneration Fund, has asked city planners to agree the principle of developing the area.

The site, known as 100 Acre Hill, is on the northern edge of the city centre at the heart of the north Canal area.

It was most recently occupied by a distillery complex owned by Diageo but has been vacant since 2010.

The outline planning application does not contain details of what is planned but a report to councillors says a valuation has been carried out based on almost 700 homes.

It added: “It is proposed some areas will be custom-built, offering individuals the opportunity to design their own unique home.”

The report says the site is regarded as an important area with the potential to connect the city centre with Possilpark and the regeneration area at Sighthill.

It continued: “However, at present it forms part of the legacy of de-industrialisation in north Glasgow.

“In its current state it is a significant block to development and creates an impression of abandonment and disconnect within the area.

“The site has an elevated position which offers panoramic views across Glasgow and makes it highly visible.

“The proposal is to redevelop this brownfield, former industrial site for residential and commercial use.

“The aim is to deliver a residential led, mixed-use scheme together with adventure sports.

“There are some fantastic spaces at 100 Acre Hill which are perfect for urban sports. These spaces offer active leisure for all ages.”

As a result of previous uses, the land for the development is contaminated and must be cleared before any work can be started.

However more than £5.5 million of City Deal funding is being awarded to Bigg Regeneration to undertake the necessary work and overcome barriers to development.

An attempt was made to sell the site for business or industrial use but there were no offers with only the regeneration company making a serious proposal.

The report said: “The proposal would result in economic benefits for Glasgow in terms of investment, construction and commercial jobs through the redevelopment of a brownfield, derelict, contaminated site which will be brought back into effective use.

“The development will also provide much needed housing for the city and will make a valuable contribution to addressing the significant shortfall in housing land supply.”

West Dunbartonshire Council approves £7m regeneration investment

Improvement plans for Glasgow Road

Improvement plans for Glasgow Road

Four major regeneration projects prioritised by West Dunbartonshire residents are to receive a £7 million investment from the local authority.

Plans to revitalise Glasgow Road in Clydebank, regenerate Bowling Basin, create a Dumbarton waterfront walkway and establish two public squares in Balloch will share the cash injection after councillors voted to approve the investment at West Dunbartonshire Council’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development committee yesterday.

The four projects were identified during local charrette processes, in which residents had their say on local priorities via drop-in information sessions and workshops with schools and community groups. Each will now receive a share of a £7m sum from the council’s Regeneration Capital Fund, as well as attracting funding from several external sources.

The plans for the A814 at Glasgow Road will see crossings installed at Clydebank Town Hall and Queens Quay to improve pedestrian links. This project will receive £2.3m from the Regeneration Capital Fund and has already secured £2m in Sustrans funding.

Proposals for Bowling Basin have been developed by Scottish Canals and will see the council invest £2m of Regeneration Capital Fund cash. This will be recouped as the project becomes profitable through the sale of houses and commercial opportunities.

At Dumbarton waterfront £1.5m will be set aside to develop a walkway and cycle path from the town centre to the castle, with an additional £1m expected to be sourced from housing developers and other commercial partners.

A £1.2m sum will also be allocated to the creation of two public squares next to the train station in Balloch; a charrette suggestion intended to improve the use of public space and enhance the impression of the village to visiting tourists. An extra £400,000 is expected to come from other sources.

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, the council’s convener for infrastructure, regeneration and economic development, said: “As a council we are committed to providing innovative opportunities for economic development and improving employability, and all four of these projects tie in with ambitious objectives for growth. The fact that they have been earmarked by residents as priorities shows the level of support for them locally, and the approval of Regeneration Capital Funding for these projects is a big step first towards their delivery.”

Councillor David McBride, depute convener, added: “We were delighted with the public’s response to our local charrettes, so it is fantastic to now be progressing projects that the community identified as important to the local area. The involvement of our residents, local businesses and council partners will be invaluable going forward, and I hope as many people as possible with engage with the council on these ambitious projects.”

Grant agreements to take forward regeneration of Glasgow canal

Forth and Clyde canalGlasgow City Council has approved grant agreements with partner organisations to regenerate areas and communities along both sides of the Forth and Clyde canal on the north side of the city centre.

These grant agreements – with Scottish Canals and BIGG Regeneration – will help deliver funding worth over £11million for the next stages of a surface water management programme that will enable land near the canal to be regenerated, and the development of the vacant 100 Acre Hill former distillery site in Port Dundas.

The water management programme – the North Glasgow Integrated Water Management System – will provide the infrastructure to control water levels on the city’s branch of the Forth and Clyde Canal, lowering it during heavy rainfall to relieve pressure in the surrounding areas.  The agreement approved by the council committee yesterday will provide £5.6m funding to develop and implement this programme.

The development of the 100 Acre Hill site is key to the regeneration of the north canal area as it will improve connectivity between the city centre, Sighthill and Possilpark. The site is seen as a key regeneration priority, and has a potential capacity for up to 500 homes and 6,000 square metres of commercial space. This project will address the site remediation, access and infrastructure work costs.

Both of these projects are part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Canal and North Gateway scheme which aims to regenerate areas such as Sighthill, Port Dundas and Cowlairs. The Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet has already approved this funding, but given that additional third party funding will be involved, the Executive Committee had to give its approval.

Work starts on 40 new homes at Maryhill Locks

FINAL_HIRES_Igloo_Maryhill_FrontView_09-09-15The third phase of the Maryhill Locks Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) got underway this week when developers started work to create 40 new terraced homes at Whitelaw Street in Glasgow.

Bigg Regeneration, a partnership between Scottish Canals and the igloo Regeneration Fund, have moved on site to begin the 40 new terraced homes, which are being constructed by CCG.

Each two, three or four bedroom home will benefit from its own private garden and are expected to be ready to move in to by late Spring 2016. Early bird buyers will be able to purchase with the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme until December 2015.

The homes have been designed by renowned Glasgow architect, Nord Architecture, whose inspiration for the properties stems from Glasgow’s long tradition of craftsmanship as well as classic West End terraces and modern European canalside townhouses. Each home will also benefit from a low energy demand and have an EPC Rating of ‘B’, as well as Smart meters to help owners manage their fuel use.

Whitelaw Street is the third phase of the Maryhill Locks project that is driven by Transforming Communities: Glasgow (TCG), a partnership of Glasgow City Council, GHA and the Scottish Government.

So far, 160 new homes have been delivered by Maryhill Housing Association, which complement other excellent new local facilities such as Maryhill Burgh Halls, the leisure centre and health centre which is on site now.

(from left) Geoff Harker, GCC; Gary Watt, Bigg Regeneration; Baillie Razaq; Paul Muldoon, CCG; Baillie Cameron; Calum Murray, CCG; Jim Harris, CCG; David Wylie, CCG; Patrick Flynn, GCC

(from left) Geoff Harker, GCC; Gary Watt, Bigg Regeneration; Baillie Razaq; Paul Muldoon, CCG; Baillie Cameron; Calum Murray, CCG; Jim Harris, CCG; David Wylie, CCG; Patrick Flynn, GCC

The start on site was marked by Baillie Cameron, chair of TCG and of the Canal Partnership, who said: “It is great to see the beginning of work on these high-quality new homes in Whitelaw Street, the third phase of such work in Maryhill. A tremendous amount of work along the canal corridor – from the Pinkston basin to Maryhill Locks – in recent years has borne fruit, and this new development will continue the momentum of one of the most exciting regeneration projects in the city.”

Steve Dunlop, director of Bigg Regeneration, said: “There is a real shortage of family homes with gardens in Glasgow and these new homes at Whitelaw Street, Maryhill Locks, represent a very unusual opportunity to have a contemporary, low energy home, with a garden, that’s close to the West End and also has lots of outdoor space nearby. Maryhill is really beginning to thrive again as new homes and leisure facilities begin to open up and Maryhill Locks is a real example of new life being breathed into an already-strong community.”

CCG director, Calum Murray, added: “CCG is delighted to continue our work in Maryhill following the introduction of over 109 mixed tenure homes at Panmure Street; a project that will be completed in the Autumn of this year. We will manufacture the new, energy efficient homes on Whitelaw Street in our state-of-the art offsite manufacturing facility (CCG OSM) which will allow for greater on site efficiencies, drive quality and reduce the carbon footprint of the project.”