Bridge contract – a symbol of a different Glasgow?
A contract for a cyclist and pedestrian bridge over the M8 which connects the Sighthill regeneration area and the centre of Glasgow could be a symbol for a more progressive, expanding and connected Glasgow.
Glasgow City Council has awarded an £18.4m contract to BAM Nuttall for a cyclist and pedestrian bridge over the M8 which connects Sighthill and the centre of Glasgow and represents an important milestone in the key regeneration project.
It is part of the £500m Glasgow City Region Deal and a key stage in the £250m Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) development. It is an iconic project, with 1000 new homes planned along with green spaces, a community campus school, and a new road bridge over the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line, a new public square, shops and businesses. Sighthill will be reconnected to the Forth and Clyde canal at the Pinkston basin, with a canal terrace.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: "This new bridge will transform and encourage connectivity to and from Sighthill and will very much be a symbol of the emerging regeneration and revitalisation of the North of Glasgow.
"Communities like Sighthill are so close to the centre of Glasgow but have for far too long felt remote from it, physically, socially and economically. The new bridge will connect a vibrant new community to the benefits of its wonderful location and to the wider city."
Work has also begun on an 824 home housing development in the Sighthill area, called Northbridge. Keepmoat Homes is a key developer with GHA and Lowther Homes and has partnered with other organisations including Morgan Sindall to create a construction college BUILDGlasgow to help newcomers train in building techniques.
The development is symbolic of a wider initiative in the area.
At the end of last year, Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive Stuart Patrick highlighted his belief that rapid population growth in the city centre is achievable, with an increase in the employment base and demand for accommodation.
He said: "There are a few milestones that are always worth repeating. We were told the population of Glasgow and the west of Scotland was in inevitable decline. Well, it isn’t. It is back into growth so start planning the infrastructure for future growth. We were told it was going to be very tough to diversify the Glasgow economy away from heavy engineering."
He agrees with a recent draft strategy report by Glasgow City Council, citing an aim of doubling the city-centre population from about 20,000 to around 40,000 over the next 15 years, because of employment growth of the core city.
Scottish MSP Derek Mackay said recently: "We can bring vacant, derelict and contaminated land back into productive use as well as creating high quality environments with greater biodiversity which can be enjoyed by local communities and the wider population.
"Perhaps the potential for the Clyde will feature during COP26 (Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow at the end of November.
"This major United Nations climate change summit will provide the perfect platform to capture global attention for the Scotland Government's ambitious targets to tackle climate change."
Environment Analyst is running a conference on challenges of Scottish brownfield development in Edinburgh on Wednesday 5 February. Find out more.