Open for business

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The Queen’s Park arena is set to open to the public for the first time in September.

The site – which has been derelict since burning down in 1996 – is a step closer to returning to its former glory with the first stage of building almost complete.

Stage one included stabilising the ground, installing new drainage and power and providing seating for 200 people.

The next step will be to install changing rooms, add a canopy, more seating a stage and a screen.

Pollokshields councillor David Meikle said: “Work has started on the project and it is expected phase one will be completed in September.

“This is all being undertaken by Queens Park Arena Ltd, a community based local charity, in partnership with the city council.
“The team behind the project are also working on funding applications for phase two which is the permanent and innovative design stage structure (and to develop a programme of events in 2013 and 2014).

“In anticipation of completion in September they are planning a launch event on Saturday October 6 to which the community is invited”.

Evelyn Silber, chair of the Queen’s Park arena steering group, added: “Contractors are on site and are due to complete in September, at which point, the Arena should be usable again”.

Queen’s Park is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in October, when the committee hope to mark the event with some opening events.

The project has been developed by community councils Crosshill/Govanhill, Langside, Battlefield and Camphill, Mount Florida and Shawlands and Strathbungo.

The four councils spent two years raising the £600,000 needed to rebuild the 100-year-old bandstand.

A new charity, Queens Park Arena, will manage the future of the project, including the events programme.

Park goers Bob and Rena Ward from Newton Mearns remember the park in its former glory.

“We used to come lots”, said Bob (70), “and bands used to play every Sunday. I used to enjoy the brass bands but there were more simple pleasures back then.

“The organisers will have to be quite creative but hopefully the stand goes back to being a focal point”.

Joanne Boselli from Govanhill added: “I’m really looking forward to the comeback of the bandstand.

“Lately, it has just been a complete waste of space. I think it could be used during things like the southside festival. I also hope they put shows on for kids there”.