Boost to spruce up empty sites

Environmental group South Seeds will be able to establish two new community gardens with Stalled Spaces grants
Environmental group South Seeds will be able to establish two new community gardens with Stalled Spaces grants

COMMUNITY groups across the southside have been awarded small grants from Glasgow city council to breathe new life into unused spaces.

The Stalled Spaces initiative provides up to £2,500 to individual groups willing to make temporary use of vacant sites.

The hope is that unused spaces will be put to good use for the benefit of residents until the council decides on a use for them.

GCC leader Gordon Matheson explained: “Sites in our city which lie empty and unused can depress people and neighbourhoods. We believe that stalled spaces should be an asset in their local community, not a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

“Although the grants are small, we believe that it will make a great difference to help a community kick start activity on a site to give it back a purpose for all local people to enjoy”.

Successful projects have already begun, with a grant going to Glasgow Housing Association and Glasgow Community Planning to clean up a vacant site at Westmoreland Street in Govanhill.

The area was being used for fly-tipping, but it has now been leased for three to five years for community garden use, providing growing space and recycling facilities for residents in nearby tenements.

Now, four other groups are set to benefit from small grants for their community projects.

Cathcart community council received £2,450, which will be used to landscape a site at Old Castle Road – to be used as a growing space.

Campaign group East Pollokshields Quad will be turning its attention to Kenmure Street, creating a raised bed development with its £2,400 funding boost.

Also in Pollokshields, the Leslie Street Green Spaces Group will be able to develop a planting area and bird and insect feeders at a site established on Keir Street thanks to a £2,500 grant.

And South Seeds – established just this year – is celebrating a double cash boost for two separate projects.

The environmental group will use £1,424 to convert an unsued area on Craigie Street, also Pollokshields, into a community garden – to be used for educational workshops for nearby schools.

Another £2,360 has been dedicated to the same project in nearby Calder Street, again to be utilised by southside school children.

The Glasgow city council project is a way of utilising space which has been earmarked for development or regeneration, but where building won’t take place until the city is in a stronger economic climate.

While the community greenspaces are temporary, it has been suggested that when a site is handed back to the owner the group can replicate their project elsewhere.