Underused greenspace in Cardonald transformed into vibrant community park

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An area of underused greenspace in Cardonald has been transformed into a vibrant community park, complemented by sustainable drainage measures that reduce flood risk.

The land, adjacent to high-rise flats at Queensland Court and Gardens, has been brought to life by the new park which incorporates an outdoor socialising space and informal woodland.

The attractive new space also boasts dedicated toddler and children’s play spaces with climbing frames and slides, as well as a bicycle pump track and cycle storage facilities to encourage active travel.

Sustainable drainage measures that mimic nature such as raingardens, basins, and swales, have also been retrofitted on site so that localised flood risk is reduced.

The joint project between Southside Housing Association and Glasgow City Council through the City Deal backed Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP), is the most recent phase of the Hillington and Cardonald Surface Water Management Plan.

The creation of this improved, more resilient community space responds positively to the climate emergency and has delivered an accessible, open space for residents – enhanced through an award-winning landscape design which was previously recognised by Building with Nature and the Landscape Institute.

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A selection of shrubs, hedges, wetland plants, grasses and wildflowers are included in an attractive planting scheme, which when established, will enhance the space further – with trees offering welcome shade in the warm months.

Joining residents and representatives from Southside Housing Association and other project funders, Councillor Elaine McSporran, Chair of the Cardonald Area Partnership was delighted to see practical completion of the high-quality green retrofit, saying: “It’s fantastic to see completion of this project which I know will deliver transformative environmental benefits that meet the needs and desires of the local community.

“The greenspace improvements offered by this Glasgow City Deal backed project will make it easier for people to get together socially whilst also offering a greener, more pleasant environment for play, recreation and active travel.

“The nature-based solutions retrofitted on site to reduce the risk and impact of surface water flooding will also ensure the future utility and enjoyment of this valuable community space.”

Alex Cameron, Chair of Southside Housing Association added: “The importance of access to good quality green space is of vital importance for physical and mental health.  This is even more important for those living in high rise accommodation such as the properties at Queensland Court and Gardens.

“We have worked hard over the last four years alongside Glasgow City Council and a range of funders to get the project to this stage and we’re delighted to see residents enjoying the new space.”

Scottish Government Wellbeing Economy Secretary Neil Gray said: “I welcome progress in creating a community park, funded as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which will be of value to local families for years to come. This innovative approach to recycling rainwater can also help set the standard for sustainable development.

“With additional support from the European Regional Development Fund, the park promotes playing and cycling in an environmentally sustainable setting and will help cement good habits in the next generation.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “This new park provides a space for the local community to relax, exercise and play in. This is a fantastic example of residents seeing the benefits of the Glasgow City Regional Deal, turning an underused greenspace into something that can be enjoyed by the whole community.

“The UK Government is supporting the project through our £524 million investment in the Glasgow City Region Deal, part of more than £2.4 billion for levelling up communities across Scotland.”

Arthur Keller of NatureScot said: “NatureScot was delighted to support the development of the new park at Queensland Gardens through our ERDF Green Infrastructure Fund. The park is already a great asset to the community, and it also shows how imaginative use of greenspace can help to manage the impacts of climate change in our cities.”

The project is part of a £37.5m Scottish programme of projects to improve the urban environment of our larger towns and cities. The Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention is led by NatureScot and is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). With 81% of Scotland’s population living in urban areas, the Green Infrastructure Strategic Intervention aims to make larger towns and cities more attractive, equal and environmentally sustainable places to live, work and invest in.

Other project funders include the Cardonald Area Partnership (through Glasgow City Council), the Scottish Government, the Place Fund (from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Unit), Green Action Trust, EB Scotland, FCC Environment, Garfield Weston Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund, Cycling Scotland, and the Clothworkers Foundation.

Both the UK and Scottish Governments are providing the Glasgow City Region local authorities with £500million each in grant funding for the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

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