Nicola Sturgeon officially opened a pivotal new development in Gorbals and singled out years of successful community control for special praise.
New Gorbals Housing Association welcomed Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister and MSP for Glasgow Southside, as they celebrated 30 years of community ownership with the opening of their new office, a development of 28 homes for social rent, and a public piazza.
This exciting project is the latest addition to the overall regeneration of Crown Street, in the very heart of Gorbals. The new development enhances the main shopping street in the area that also has a library and is nearby the city centre. The office building provides a greatly improved experience for customers, with a larger reception area and accessible interview rooms.
The key feature of the overall development is the creation of the wide piazza and pedestrian thoroughfare that connects Crown Street with Laurieston Road. This space provides a new central location for community events and has already hosted ‘Party in the Piazza’, a summer family fun day which attracted over 400 people. The development is part of the overall transformation of the former Sandiefield multi-storey site which also includes the New Gorbals Health and Care Centre.
Linda Malone, Chairperson of New Gorbals Housing Association, said:
“We are delighted to have Nicola Sturgeon here today to officially open the development. This marks the completion of the vision we shared with NHS Scotland and Glasgow City Council to transform this site, where the Sandiefield multi-storey blocks once stood. Six years on from their demolition our project has delivered 28 homes for social rent, a fantastic new health centre, our housing office and a public piazza.
The Gorbals Piazza shows our ambition to go beyond just housing. Good place making, good streets, and quality public spaces are essential to creating communities that work for the people who live in them.”
Also addressing the large gathering at the opening, Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council said:
“This is the third incarnation of the Gorbals since its time as a village. There’s a reason why this one has worked; community ownership. The work of the New Gorbals team shows us that getting housing right is absolutely critical. But it is not an end in itself. It’s about creating a community, a place, a neighbourhood with real liveability. For Glasgow to become the city we want it to be we need to replicate this on a grand scale.”
Before unveiling an engraved slab to mark the opening of the piazza, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“This new development evidences the power, the value and the work of community control. What we’ve seen in the Gorbals is about allowing communities to direct and dictate the pace of change and shape of change in development. It’s much bigger than just housing; it’s about places for people to live in a broader sense, it’s about building and sustaining genuine, vibrant, flourishing communities.”
Two architecture practices were involved in the design of these buildings. Elder and Cannon were commissioned for the corner building on Cumberland Street and Crown Street, and Page\Park for the flats and office block that continue along Crown Street. The Gorbals Piazza was designed by landscape architecture firm Ian White Associates.
New Gorbals Housing Association: New Gorbals Housing Association is a dynamic Community Controlled Housing Association that was established in 1989 by a group of local residents. Over the years, the Association has grown and the heart of the Gorbals has been transformed through the creative and innovative delivery of the best possible housing, environment and services.
Photography: Alasdair Watson