Barrowland Park to close as Glasgow City Council take their legacy back

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After contributing a mere £620,000 to the creation of a park between London Road and the Gallowgate, Glasgow City Council have responded to the overwhelming positive feedback at the creation of green space in the area, by declaring they can’t wait to knock it all down and sell it off to build more shops and houses.

Part of the much vaunted Commonwealth “Legacy“, the Barrowland Park includes the “Album Pathway” by artist Jim Lambie, a multi-coloured concrete path featuring the names of over 2000 artists and bands who have performed at the Barrowlands since 1983. When it was unveiled in July this year, a gushing press release from Glasgow 2014 declared it “a public open space for Glasgow that acts as a key gateway to the east end of the city.”  So why are we closing the gates now?

The reality is that the park was always intended to be temporary (although the Album Pathway will remain, somewhere), so while this isn’t the scandal of the Council suddenly announcing the mass demolition of social housing or flouting the law by renting public space they can’t legally sell to private developers, it still leads us to ask what the point in spending all this cash was, if the net result is yet more cluttered retail units and posh flats.

The creation of a temporary public park in the Calton is an infuriating glimpse into what our city could be – we desperately need to create and restore civic space and despite fighting a relentless war against parks and all who use them during their tenure, the project will have been worth every penny the Council spent, if we retain it as a useable public space.  There are already many struggling businesses in the area yet the Council seem to have endless amounts of money to “redevelop” the city centre into a mass of glass and shopping – like their masterplan to demolish the Buchanan Street steps and replace that civic space with…more shops!  Centralisation and concentration of massive retail development is of no benefit those running wee shops in the Calton or down the Gallowgate.  There is also  a housing crisis in our shiny “new” East End but yet more poor quality, overpriced private housing stock is not going to solve that either.  None of the array of social and economic problems facing residents in the area are caused by the fact there’s now a nice park there, so 2000 people have already signed a petition asking the Council to ensure it is maintained permanently.

Those in the City Chambers wrote a blank cheque to make sure Glasgow didn’t look shit for 10 days during the Games;   when we were on show for the dignitaries, it was “People Make Glasgow” but now Bolt has bolted, it’s back to “not for the likes of you.”

If the park is there, used and popular, is it beyond the realm of possibility to just leave it alone, given we’ve spent £620,000 on it?  Something stops being a legacy when you have to give it back.

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Further Reading:

Is the East End of Glasgow the NEW West End of Glasgow

Glasgow City Council to turn walk in the park into legal minefield

11 Tales from Glasgow’s Quality Council

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8 responses to “Barrowland Park to close as Glasgow City Council take their legacy back

  1. Very well said. Glasgow really needs to up it’s game & getting shot of these self-serving Labourites will go a long way to making sure the city is run for the benefit of the people who actually live there.

  2. I passed the Barrowland park the other day on the bus. ( I usually go by car) and I thought how good it was to see this bit of land turned into this beautiful wee park. People where sitting out in the sun and people where reading all the bands and artists names & children where playing. It makes such a change to how it was with derelcit shops and rats running about. And now GCC in their wisdom want to get rid of this. Shocking

  3. totally disgusting this is Glasgow City Council again wasting tax payers money, leave it as it is, it is beautiful for us Glaswegians and visitors to visit and enjoy

  4. Let’s start taking names, because I can’t wait to boot these fuckers out and onto the dole at the next Council elections. These dinosaurs days are numbered in ANY civic job.

    • On what grounds do we need more shops, with all the vacant retail premises in the heart of Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street. Why not use the multitude of spaces further up the Gallowgate and build what we really need in n Glasgow, more HOMES for the homeless.

  5. Are the Glasgow Council going to allow another building, like the one across from the park in Moir Street. I would like to know the name of the person in the Planning Dept who passed that eyesore.
    Did they forget to finish the facade or are those huge paper clips supposed to be aesthetically pleasing???

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