Barrhead is a traditional industrial town on the south western edge of Glasgow. Despite decades of industrial decline, it has retained a strong and active community, hosts valuable facilities and is well served by transport links to Glasgow and the surrounding areas.
Notable greenspace in the area includes Carlibar Park and Centenary Park. These parks incorporate stretches of the River Levern and form a linear corridor, connecting different areas of the town. It has been acknowledged that this greenspace isn't fulfilling its potential and, in recent years, there has been much discussion as to the ways to improve the function and appearance of the area.
An urban design framework had already been prepared as part of the Better Barrhead project. However, it did not integrate the town's greenspace into its plans for regeneration. The challenge was therefore to produce a masterplan that would guide the future reanimation and enhancement of the town's greenspace as part of the wider regeneration project.
A working group was established to steer the project and gather input from varied stakeholders including: voluntary organisations, the Link Housing Association, and representatives from the East Renfrewshire Council's Transportation, Parks, Community Health and Planning Departments. The steering group drafted a consultant's brief and commissioned consultants ERZ Ltd to draft designs and ideas for the Green Network project.
Community consultation formed an important part of the process. It enabled an appreciation of how the existing space is used and helped to identify community ambitions for the future. To aid the consultation process, a 'Public Spaces Group' was developed. This group consisted of representatives from the local community and was tasked with reviewing the regeneration projects taking place in similar towns.
The resultant Masterplan provides a costed strategy for the improvement of the local parks and considers the landscape setting of key new developments in the Barrhead regeneration programme, such as the Health Centre and Learning Hub. In addition, the Masterplan provides suggestions for volunteering opportunities and promotes active lifestyles through enhanced cycling and walking links.
The Masterplan provides a strategic blueprint for how Barrhead's greenspace will be developed. This provides a level of certainty on what needs to be done and roughly how much it will cost.
The plan builds on existing greenspace resources, such as the Carlibar Park and Centenary Park, which provide an important green link through the town centre of Barrhead, connecting the railway station, new housing, shops, businesses and key services.
Better Greenspace: The Masterplan ensures that greenspace is seen as an integral element of the town centre’s regeneration – not something to be dealt with separately or afterwards.
Healthier People: The Masterplan guidelines indicate that the town centre and surrounding area should be accessed by sustainable forms of transport such as cycling and walking; activities which promote a range of health promoting benefits.
Engaged Communities: Local participation in the development of the plan has increased both public support for the regeneration activity and public confidence in the viability of the town centre.
Increased Funding: The plan will act as a device to seek access to funding opportunities.
"The masterplan sets out an exciting and ambitious plan to upgrade this very valuable greenspace feature of Barrhead's town centre. I'm delighted that the plan puts the improvement of the environment at the heart of Barrhead's regeneration programme."
Councillor Tony Buchanan
"The masterplan will hopefully help us unlock funding to deliver these exciting projects."
Gillian McNamara, Principal Projects and Programmes Officer
The Masterplan was funded by the CSGN Development Fund. It enabled the expansion of the existing town centre regeneration project into the town's green spaces, thus cementing the core CSGN principle that quality green space is vital to economic regeneration.
The collaborative approach to the development of the masterplan enabled a variety of issues to be considered together. This resulted in an integrated plan that optimises the future contribution of the greenspace to a range of outcomes. For example, the encouragement of sustainable forms of transport such as cycling and walking also links in with the ambitions of the new Community Health and Social Care Centre which promotes an integrated approach to improve the health of local residents. Similarly, these recommendations have dovetailed with the objectives of the Barrhead Healthy Weight Project and Go Barrhead, a government funded project which aims to reduce dependence on the car.
The Masterplan has led to the creation of a new play park and will continue to guide and inform the regeneration of Barrhead over the next few years.
The long term strategy also considers future developments beyond Barrhead. These include the creation of a core path network to link the linear park, Cowan Park and Dams to Darnley Country Park.
The recommendations made in the Masterplan will result in the planting of over 200 semi mature trees, the creation of over 1,500 metres of footpath, the installation of landmark sculptures and multiple riverside improvements.
|2010||CSGN Development Fund||17,500|