£2.7m investment set to transform derelict Barrhead land

£2.7m investment set to transform derelict Barrhead land

Barrhead’s Carlibar Park is set to be transformed through a £2.7 million investment to turn derelict land into attractive green space and re-engineer the Levern Water to reduce flooding risks.

Led by East Renfrewshire Council, the project is funded through a £1.6m investment from SEPA and £1.1m from the Scottish Government’s vacant and derelict land investment programme.

The derelict wasteground site at Walton Street within Carlibar Park and close to Barrhead town centre, has been empty for decades. Plans to transform the site include the creation of riverside paths for walking and cycling, areas to support biodiversity and landscaping works to re-capture the natural beauty of the river and the surrounding park. Modifications to the weir on the Levern Water will re-introduce a more natural river channel and wider areas for overflow to reduce the risk of flooding.

East Renfrewshire Council leader, Owen O’Donnell, said: “I’m delighted that this project has been made possible thanks to our funding partners at SEPA and the Scottish Government. It provides the long-awaited opportunity to transform this derelict site within Carlibar Park and reduce our flooding risk in the area.

“Carlibar Primary school have been involved in surveying the river wildlife and will help monitor the health of the river once the works are complete. Once complete, local residents will be able to enjoy an attractive riverside greenspace, close to the shops and amenities in Barrhead town centre.”

Lucie Stewart, restoration specialist at SEPA, said: “We are excited to get started on this project and to bring about real transformation for the area. By working closely with East Renfrewshire Council, through the Water Environment Fund (WEF), we aim to improve the Levern Water and return it to a more natural river channel. This will not only benefit the local community and help mitigate flooding, but it will also bring back migratory fish such as sea trout and eel. In partnership with local authorities across Scotland, WEF is creating attractive and accessible green river corridors within many more towns and cities.”

Work at the one-hectare site has started and will be carried out by contractor AmcoGiffen Ltd.

A spokesperson said: “AmcoGiffen are extremely proud to have been awarded this important project for East Renfrewshire Council. We look forward to providing the residents of Barrhead and the wider community with an aesthetic public realm area that future generations will utilise. We will engage with the local supply chain to foster growth in the East Renfrewshire economy and will also create jobs for the community directly during the works.

“We are very keen to demonstrate the social value for this scheme to East Renfrewshire and will also be engaging with several local organisations and charities with a view to them benefitting both during construction and after the project is completed.”

The river channel works are expected to be complete by the end of September 2022 to minimise impact on wildlife. The remainder of the works are expected to be complete by summer 2023. Footpaths will remain open for the majority of the time with signage in place when any diversions are required for construction activity.

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