Stalled Spaces Scotland Seminar announces national projects

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Seven local authorities across Scotland have been chosen to roll out the Legacy 2014 programme Stalled Spaces Scotland led by Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS), aimed at supporting local authorities and communities to bring underused green spaces, stalled developments sites, vacant and derelict land back in to temporary use for the benefit of local communities.

The authorities receiving funding as part of the Stalled Spaces Scotland programme are Angus, Argyll and Bute, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Fife, North Ayrshire and Renfrewshire councils. A condition of funding is that local authorities match the funding received through the programme.

The successful local authorities were announced on 3 December 2014 at a seminar organised by Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) at The Lighthouse in Glasgow. The aim of the seminar was to support a broad range of local authorities, organisations and communities to take their own projects forward. It provided inspiration from other Stalled Spaces projects that have taken place in Scotland and across the UK.

Stalled Spaces projects demonstrated include themes such as temporary gardens, events and arts spaces and opportunities to transform places for urban growing. The seminar heard why temporary use is important and how temporary projects can benefit neighbourhoods.

Stalled Spaces Scotland draws learning from the award winning Stalled Spaces initiative led by Glasgow City Council with Architecture and Design Scotland providing support and guidance for local authorities across Scotland to develop their own local Stalled Spaces initiatives.

To align with the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Plan and the Town Centre First Principle the programme will primarily look at stalled spaces located within town centres to empower people to bring these spaces back into positive use for the benefit for the whole community.

Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi said:
“I am pleased to be able to announce the successful projects that will now be taking part in the Legacy 2014 Stalled Spaces Scotland Programme, one of more than 50 national Legacy 2014 programmes helping to secure lasting benefits from the Commonwealth Games.

Building on the potential of the original Glasgow project, we committed under the Town Centre Action Plan to work with Architecture and Design Scotland to support this programme with a focus specifically on finding temporary uses for sites within town centres. The Stalled Spaces Scotland programme is about empowering communities to creatively improve their own town centre environments, while at the same time helping to draw people together and strengthen social ties.

Sue Evans, member of the A&DS Board, said

Today’s seminar is not only an opportunity to announce the local authorities that will be taking forward Stalled Spaces Scotland programmes supported by A&DS, but it also serves as a wider resource to communities who would like to create their own temporary uses for vacant sites across Scotland.

We were very impressed by the quality of proposals received through this process, and we are confident that there are many fantastic ideas throughout the country just needing a little bit of inspiration and practical information to get their projects off the ground.

Here is what some of the successful local authorities have in store for their Stalled Spaces Scotland programmes for the coming year:

Cllr Tony Buchanan, East Renfewshire convener for infrastructure and sustainable growth said:

The support from Stalled Spaces Scotland will give people the opportunity to do something positive with those awkward pockets of unused ground in our town centres. We are keenly anticipating exciting applications that will transform forgotten corners into show pieces or turn the street into a stage. The ambition of the local traders in the Business Improvement Districts centred on Giffnock and Clarkston and the construction of the new health centre along with the leisure and library complex in Barrhead have brought about a renaissance in high streets. Stalled Spaces Scotland will add a new dimension to this revitalised street scene and we want local residents and business people to be imaginative about how their town centre spaces can be used in new and colourful ways.

East Dunbartonshire Council is delighted to be involved in the Stalled Spaces Scotland programme, which will encourage and allow the local community to shape and take pride in their surroundings. The authority looks forward to assisting groups whilst they explore and develop their ideas through skill sharing and working in partnership. It is envisaged that the initiative will help to break down barriers whilst encouraging social regeneration through community-led projects and, in
turn, make use of unused spaces and enhance the local area.

The proposed Renfrewshire Stalled Spaces Scotland initiative hopes to be able to distribute a series of small-scale grants to local community groups, with the aim of tackling vacant or under used spaces in town centres by the end of 2016. Elected members will consider how grants will be distributed in the new year.

Over the next year, Argyll and Bute Council will administer a small pot of grant funding which will go towards supporting community groups brighten up their towns by enlivening and enhancing underused spaces. Funding will be offered towards activities that improve such areas of vacant and derelict land in town centre locations. Groups will be invited to apply for funding in early June 2015 and applicants will be required to demonstrate how their project meets at least one of the Stalled Spaces Argyll and Bute themes, which are as follows: Youth activity, Community food growing and Healthy living.

Fife Council said

The development of a local stalled spaces programme has three distinct advantages for Fife and its communities. It helps address long neglected spaces that often adversely affect the appearance of town centres and therefore the image presented to visitors and residents. It encourages community ownership and participation and empowers those communities to address sites and locations, which impact on their daily life. It will help us to develop and pilot a working model that can be replicated or adapted for other related purposes such as dealing with empty buildings within town centres in the future.

North Ayrshire Councillor Marie Burns, Cabinet Member for Economy and Employment, said: “North Ayrshire Council is delighted to be working with the Stalled Spaces Scotland programme. We look forward to engaging with our community group, Working Together For Irvine to identify ways of enhancing and revitalising our local unused spaces.

Angus Council’s economic development spokesperson, Councillor Mairi Evans said: “This is great news for the people of Angus. This fund will inject some life into areas that were previously derelict or disused and it also provides the community with a sense of ownership to showcase their local areas in a creative and imaginative way. We look forward to advertising details of the fund new year.

The Stalled Spaces Scotland programme forms part of the Legacy2014 programme aimed at creating a long-term legacy from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games for all of Scotland’s people.

Following its launch in the summer of 2014 A&DS has provided support, guidance documents for communities, landowners and local authorities and held workshops for local authorities to support them in taking forward the programme.

Anyone looking for further information on how to get involved with the project please contact stalledspacesscotland@ads.org.uk or go to www.ads.org.uk

Photo: Jim MacDonald and Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment Marco Biagi at the Stalled Spaces Scotland Seminar on 3 December 2014. Photo by Lenny Warren.

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