Garscube Bridge opens connecting North Glasgow communities
Scottish Canals have officially opened Garscube Bridge and Panmure Gate Link in the North of Glasgow, connecting communities on either side of the historic Forth & Clyde Canal.
The completion of works on the new bridge and link carried out by McKenzie Construction marks an important milestone in the delivery of the Claypits project. The opening connects the communities of Panmure Gate and Woodside, giving residents direct access to Scotland’s sustainable transport network along the Forth & Clyde Canal.
“I’m really pleased that the Garscube Bridge has now opened as part of the Claypits project, connecting two communities in north Glasgow and providing easy access to nature within the city.
Completion of the bridge will reopen the Forth & Clyde Canal to boaters as well as providing travel and leisure options for walkers, runners and cyclists. It’s great to see partnership working encouraging more sustainable travel in our towns and cities through high quality infrastructure.”
Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity
The state of the art Garscube Bridge will deliver much more than a walkway for the local community. Serving Scotland’s boating community, the new electronic bridge will allow boats to pass through the north of the city along the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The new link from Panmure Gate to Garscube Bridge which runs on top of the canal boasts one of a kind views of nature and wildlife in North Glasgow.
“The opening of Garscube Bridge and the Panmure Gate Link not only marks an important milestone for Scottish Canals and our partners in delivering the Claypits project as part of the wider regeneration in North Glasgow.
I am delighted that this project will connect the communities of Panmure Gate and Woodside giving them access to an urban nature reserve in the heart of the city. The Claypits project will deliver long term health and wellbeing benefits to the local residents as well as an additional boost to the local economy.”
Catherine Topley, CEO of Scottish Canals
Garscube Bridge and Panmure Gate Link are both a key part of the £6m Claypits project which will deliver a local nature reserve in North Glasgow which is due to open in spring 2021.
The project emerged from the Woodside, Firhill and Hamiltonhill Development Framework, which received a Living Waterway Award in 2018 in recognition of the project’s success in engaging local communities.
The project has been delivered in partnership with the community and local groups, notably, The Claypits Local Nature Reserve Management Group which consists of local residents with a passion to celebrate the incredible environment and greenspace around the Claypits.
“On behalf of the partnership, I am delighted to see the opening of the Garscube Bridge today; a project that will reconnect communities in the area. Accessibility and greenspace are two of the key goals of the canal partnership in Glasgow, and the Garscube Bridge and the new bridges and greenspace at Sighthill and Stockingfield will benefit thousands of existing, and future, residents in the area.“
Councillor Allan Gow, Chair of the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership
The Claypits at Hamiltonhill were originally used to extract clay to line the Forth & Clyde Canal, in turn, the canal was used to power the industrial revolution which transformed the nation. The Claypits will now transform to meet the needs of the 21st century by becoming a local nature reserve which will be connected to Scotland’s sustainable transport network.
“The Garscube Bridge and the new boardwalk open up the Claypits Nature Reserve for locals living in Queen’s Cross and Firhill. It’s more important than ever now to have space to walk, cycle, relax and exercise outdoors, and we are pleased to have been able to support this vital new link through Places for Everyone.
The canal, nature reserve and their connection to the National Cycle Network are a gateway to city and the surrounding area, as well as an important resource for Glasgow’s biodiversity. This is a unique project – creating a wild greenspace in the heart of industrial land – and we are proud to have been part of it.”
Karen McGregor, Director of Scotland for Sustrans
The Claypits project was funded by 17 organisations including; Sustrans, Transport Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Canals, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership.
Associated key partners within the project include; The Scottish Government via Queens Cross Housing Association and the Local Nature Reserve Management Group.
The Claypits local nature reserve in North Glasgow is due to open in spring 2021.
Scottish Opera puts on outdoor performances by the canal
Scottish Opera, part of the Glasgow Canal Co-op, have announced a programme of outdoor performances for this September at locations across Scotland, including the carpark of their Edington Street Production Studios by the canal.
Following the Scottish Government’s update on 20 August to the route map out of the Covid-19 crisis, Scottish Opera were thrilled to announce the programme of seated outdoor events.
Tragic love story
Scottish Opera’s production studios at Edington Street, right by the canal, have a car park which has been selected as the home for a five-night run of Puccini’s La bohème.
Kicking off on Saturday 5 September, Puccini’s tragic love story La bohème will be given a powerful reinterpretation inspired by the current pandemic reality by Director Roxana Haines.
The production uses Jonathan Dove’s abridged score with a running time of around 1 hour 35 minutes and just seven singers and a reduced orchestra.
With its grand theatrical and emotional sweep, this very special production of Puccini’s heartbreaking operatic weepie is a celebration of love in all its forms: from passion to affection, friendship to fraternity. And it’s a poignant love letter to theatre, opera and live performance itself – to singers, instrumentalists, backstage and, of course, audiences.
In response to the ongoing physical distancing guidelines, La bohème will be presented with the audience seated in appropriately distanced ‘bubbles’ outdoors, ensuring they can once again safely enjoy the live music experience. Customers can only book a maximum of four tickets per performance.
Safety for all audience performers and backstage crew has also been built into the production’s underlying conception from the start, with physical distancing observed at all times by performers, backstage staff and the audience.
Pinkston Watersports Centre in north Glasgow has launched whitewater tubing – a new outdoor activity perfect for thrill seekers looking for a fun-filled experience.
Participants are given a rubber ring before taking to Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course for a ride down the rapids that they won’t forget.
Pinkston has already welcomed some well-kempt faces to the course who were game enough to give it a go, including comedian Gary Faulds who summed the experience up as, “Basically the Time Capsule on steroids”.
Joined by friends
Gary Faulds was joined by friends and fellow comedian Gary Meikle alongside unsuspecting fan Darren MacLeod, who answered Gary’s call on Facebook for someone to get involved in the fun.
Although not for the faint hearted, the controlled rapids allow the team at Pinkston to provide a full-on whitewater experience for people in a safe environment, with participants receiving wet suits, helmets, buoyancy aids and a full safety briefing.
The high adrenaline activity is the latest watersport to be launched at Pinkston, which is already home to a wealth of activities including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and open water swimming.
Hannah Blair, Pinkston Watersports Centre general manager and Glasgow Canal Co-op co-director, said:
“We’re so excited to have launched whitewater tubing at Pinkston. This is an adrenaline-filled activity that lets people get up close with our controlled rapids.
“We’ve had a great reaction from people who have had a lot of fun taking part so far, including comedians Gary Faulds and Gary Meikle who gave us all a laugh. We’re based at Port Dundas just minutes from the city centre so people looking for a thrilling outdoor experience don’t have far to come.”
Urban and water sport destination
Pinkston is situated on the banks of the Forth and Clyde canal just 10 minutes from the city centre in an area that is fast becoming a destination for urban and water sport, with The Loading Bay skatepark, Everyday Athlete, Glasgow Wake Park, Glasgow Kayak Club, Scuba Diving Scotland, The Adventure Academy, Outdoor Pursuits Scotland and Red Bull Neptune Steps Challenge all calling it home.
Whitewater tubing at Pinkston is £35 per person or £250 for a group of up to 10 people and is open to people aged 15 and over. Book now at www.pinkston.co.ukor email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three leading adventure sports businesses land funding from Experience Glasgow
Three of Scotland’s leading sports attractions have been awarded funding from Experience Glasgow to team up to create a unified adventure and alternative sports brand and must-visit destination for the city.
Located side by side around the Forth and Clyde Canal, just 10 minutes from Glasgow city centre, Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow Wake Park and The Loading Bay Skatepark are joining forces to establish a collaborative and exciting visitor experience in north Glasgow.
As members of Glasgow Canal Co-op, the three cutting-edge organisations already work closely together in this part of the city, which has undergone significant regeneration and a renaissance in recent years, to ensure their fantastic sport facilities are accessible to the local community.
This boost from Glasgow’s Industry Collaboration Fund will allow the organisations to pull together and allow people from near and far to book truly unique, combined experiences online.
Host of activities
Nestled around the top of the canal in this up and coming corner of the city, the three destinations already individually offer a host of activities for beginners, large groups and adrenaline lovers alike, including kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting, stand up paddleboarding, skateboarding, BMXing and wakeboarding.
This collaboration will allow people to choose from a variety of activity packages from across the playground, including pick-and-mix sport packages and tasters, family watersports days and children’s residential stays and experiences.
The new set-up will mean it’s never been easier for the local community and visitors to experience the great outdoors in the city and get a taste for urban sport – all set among the canal’s unique industrial heritage, with breathtaking views across the city.
“The scale and quality of the sports facilities our three businesses offer are unique to Glasgow and rarely found in the heart of any city. Collaborating like this and coming up with new, joined-up packages will allow us to welcome more visitors than ever before and show them exactly what this exciting part of the city has to offer.
“We’re like-minded organisations who want to share our passion for our sports with as many people as possible. We want the local community and visitors to have a brilliant experience getting stuck in and see that anyone can try a new alternative sport right here in Glasgow. The funding from Experience Glasgow allows us to combine forces and create a digital presence that will help reach new people. We can’t wait to launch it.”
Hannah Blair, general manager at Pinkston Watersports
The Collaboration Fund is supported by Scottish Enterprise and aims to help deliver on the ambitions of Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023 to develop innovative products and services for visitors and attract more people than ever before to the city.
The funding will support these three businesses to create a new shared brand, a website with online booking facilities and to trial their new packages to reach new visitors from nearby, as well as UK and international visitors.
New plans submitted to Glasgow City Council would see derelict land next to Civic Street transformed into a blossoming space for the community.
Community interest company and Glasgow Canal Co-op memberAgile City has teamed up with landscape architectsERZto look at reviving the former Phoenix Park site by the M8, which is a walking and cycling thoroughfare and gateway to the canal.
Their plans include creating a space for community events and meetings and a place to house Glasgow Tool Library and Bike for Good workshop and bike storage facilities.
Outside, a yard area would feature new planting and create a space for a variety of outdoor events and workshops, alongside an outdoor cooking and eating area.
If successful, the community reclamation project would be made possible through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Glasgow City Council, Sustrans, The Heritage Project Fund and the Central Scotland Green Network.
The project would temporarily make use of the space by the Forth and Clyde canal, close to Cowcaddens Subway Station, which has been empty for around 15 years.
The plans submitted state:
“The wider area around the site is currently home to a wide range of cultural, educational and industrial organisations that give a rich and diverse character to the area.
“This dynamic community means that there is a local audience for the cultural and social aspects of the project and any connectivity improvements would have a positive impact on the ability for people to complete more everyday active travel journeys.”
Other ideas submitted in the plans include ‘polytunnels’ to kick-start urban food production and a ‘green laboratory’ for experimenting with recycled construction materials and structures and an outdoor classroom.
Agile City’s plans would be another step forward in the Co-op’s ambition to unlock the canal’s potential as a vibrant area for people to live, work and visit.
At the top of the Forth and Clyde Canal, along the stretch of water that Glasgow Canal Co-op calls home, lies Pinkston Watersports Centre – Scotland’s state of the art urban watersports hub.
In the next in our #GlasgowCanal series, which introduces the people and industries that are part of our Co-op and based along the waterway, we meet Hannah Blair – general manager of Pinkston Watersports Centre.
Watch her #GlasgowCanal story:
We hope you enjoy, are inspired and learnt something new about the activities along Glasgow’s canal corridor.
You can find out more about visiting Pinkston and it’s partial re-opening here.
If you would like to tell your #GlasgowCanal story, please get in touch and we’ll share it.
Ripples of partial re-openings can be felt along Glasgow’s stretch of the Forth and Clyde canal, as some businesses begin reacting to the slight easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Paddle sports at Pinkston
Pinkston Watersports Centre in north Glasgow is re-opening this weekend, 6 and 7 June 2020, on a very limited basis in line with phase 1 of the lockdown.
The flat water park will be open to local paddlers (canoes, kayaks, SUPs) and swimmers based within 5 miles of the centre and all sessions should be booked in advance online via Pinkston’s website.
People must bring their own equipment and start times for the 1-hour long sessions will be staggered, while toilets and changing facilities will not be available.
Elsewhere, Glasgow Wake Park is also re-opening on a limited basis. Again, local riders with their own equipment based within 5 miles of the park can enjoy the park.
Customers must book over the phone in advance. There will be one cable operator on the dock at a time in a sectioned off area and only one customer or family group can be on the dock/bridge at a time, with a one in, one out system in operation.
Businesses re-opening along Glasgow canal in line with Government guidelines can’t wait to welcome those that they can back, however, please remember social distancing and others rules. Look out for one another and the staff you see.
Across the canal corridor in Glasgow we’ve seen members of the Co-op and locals doing their bit to keep people’s spirits up and give back to the community.
Here’s a roundup of just some of the initiatives we’ve seen which might raise a smile, as well as different activities you can get involved in during lockdown.
Vital food deliveries
It’s been incredible to see individuals, voluntary groups and businesses come together across the city to make sure everyone has the food and other essential items they need.
We’ve seen Queen’s Cross Housing Association (QCHA) work in conjunction with Flourish House to provide pre-cooked meals prepared and delivered from their Courtyard Café. Around 500 frozen meals, as well as fruit, soup and snacks have been delivered to tenants.
Bike for Good have also stepped forward to help QCHA deliver bags of groceries to tenants and have been loaning bikes to free for key workers. You can donate a bike for a key worker on the Bike for Good website.
Volunteers from African Challenge Scotland have been delivering foods and toiletries to people in Springburn, Possilpark and Maryhill, while Young People Futures in Possilpark have worked non-stop to deliver food parcels, and the costume team at Scottish Opera, normally based at Edington Street, have been sewing scrubs for frontline NHS staff.
Elsewhere, Fair Share Glasgow and the West of Scotland have distributed over 315 tonnes of food, equivalent to more than 750,000 meal portions, since the start of lockdown to frontline charities and community groups supporting the most vulnerable people in communities.
Nothing raises the spirits the way music does, so why not let it out your frustration and get lost in the moment belting out a tune.
Head over to the QCHA Wee Sing Along YouTube channel to singalong to some hits.
Award-winning musician and member of Admiral Fallow Sarah Hayes plays the piano and the lyrics are there for you on the screen – give it a go.
If you’re looking for some music for the wee ones, you can join Claire’s Music Club Sunday Sing-along on Facebook.
Every Sunday morning musician Claire Hastings goes live from Speirs Wharf with some lovely songs and rhymes which are perfect for little people. Singalong live or watch videos from any week you’ve missed on her page @Claire’s Music Club.
For 8 to 12 year olds, Scottish Opera has launched its first interactive online opera for kids – Fever!
Fever! tells the story of a young boy who is struck down by a mystery illness and rushed to hospital. With new content added every Monday, join them for lots of fun activities including songs, dance moves, prop making and science experiments. Over the 5 weeks, children will learn the whole thing and then have a special invitation to join a nationwide virtual. Get involved.
For visual art fans, Glasgow International – the city’s biennial visual arts festival – has extended its digital programme until the end of May. Look out for Alberta Whittle’s ‘business as usual:hostile environment’ which was originally commissioned with Glasgow Sculpture Studios.
Getting a daily dose of fresh air has never been more important for our physical and mental wellbeing – and lots of people are looking at how to work out at home and keep it interesting.
Scottish Canals are challenging people to virtually walk the distance of Scotland’s canals at home, in their gardens, or on their daily walk.
The Forth and Clyde Canal is a whopping 38 miles long – that’s 76,000 steps. Reckon you could hit that? Find out more about the Scottish Canals Challenge.
The guys over at Everyday Athlete Gym on Borron Street are also setting some fantastic 30-day fitness challenges. This weighted vest walk can be down with a backpack:
One Speirs Resident has been getting particularly creative with his daily exercise – canoeing and litter picking at the same time!
Remember to stay local for any outdoor exercise, stay away from crowded tow paths and look out for one another.
Keeping in touch with nature
Lots of us are missing being able to spend time in nature so Scottish Canals have come up with this great guide to bring birds to your garden or window. Have a go and see if you make some new feathered friends.
For the green fingered among you, Hamiltonhill Claypits Urban Nature Reserve has a community gardening plot in The Back Garden at Possil Garden.
New social distancing arrangements are in place and there are weekly allotted slots allocated. Get in touch with the Claypits for more information.