Barrowland Park at 8 Years Old-Guest Blog by Fans of Barrowland Park: Glasgow Music Walking Tours Blog
Our tour guests love our stop on Barrowland Park where, prompted by the names on Jim Lambie’s Album Pathway, they share stories of the gigs they’ve seen: it’s great storytelling. Last week, Barrowland Park celebrated its 8th birthday, having officially opened on 19 July 2014. Fans of Barrowland Park is a campaign group who promote the Park and want to see the, still temporary, greenspace made permanent. We caught up with them to discuss their future plans.
Since we formed in December 2016, we have received good support from all of the main political parties. We were pleased to receive positive messages of support to mark the park’s birthday from some of Calton’s elected members, and from the newly reformed Calton Community Council.
The park is still designated a temporary space, and is listed on the Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2021. Communications with Glasgow City Council over the years have been variable. In spring 2017 and 2018, we worked with them to spray wash the artwork installation in the park, the Album Pathway. This was a short-term remedy to freshen up the coloured ‘spines’ of the pathway, however, due to the park’s temporary status, there has been no investment made in stopping their continued degradation.
In the 2018-2019 council budget, money was allocated towards a feasibility study of the park, which was carried out in March 2020. COVID understandably affected non-urgent operations within the council, but there were still additional delays in them allowing us access to see the report results. With the help of local councillors we eventually received the report in April 2022.
However, following the report being carried out over two years ago, there have been material changes to the economy and local market conditions, and options are being reviewed for the site. We have been informed by the council, “Subject to appraisal of financial viability, we are particularly exploring potential for commercial/residential development incorporating a park/public space.”
Going forward, Fans of Barrowland Park are planning a Special General Meeting in September to dissolve the group in its current structure. This will allow us to run less formally than we are having to do so in accordance with a constitution, e.g., with designated committee roles, and a minimum number of people required at meetings to allow decisions to be made.
We intend to continue to monitor the council’s plans for the park as they become publicly available, and push for the state of the park to be improved. We also want to see it being used for more outdoor events; the excellent Surge Festival marble activity that took place in the park last July has now been moved to George Square (running Fri 29-Sun 31 July).
Should any of the space be developed, we want to see appropriate environment and social impact assessments made, and investment made into the Album Pathway to allow this link with Glasgow’s musical cultural heritage to remain.
We welcome all ideas to move forward with improving the park. Note the space is not solely owned by the council, and has several landowners. We will hold a Special General Meeting via Zoom on 7th September 2022, at 6.30pm. Shortly after this, we will either hold our Annual General Meeting as per our constitution, and elect new committee members, or go straight into a general meeting to discuss future plans.
If you would like to attend, please email [email protected] to receive the Zoom link and further details in advance of the meetings.