First Minister opens new homes, office and piazza for New Gorbals

Years of successful community control was singled out for special praise last week when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened a pivotal new development in the Gorbals.

First Minister opens new homes, office and piazza for New Gorbals

New Gorbals Housing Association's new office

New Gorbals Housing Association welcomed the MSP for Glasgow Southside as it celebrated 30 years of community ownership with the opening of a new office, a development of 28 homes for social rent, and a public piazza.  

The project is the latest addition to the overall regeneration of Crown Street, in the very heart of Gorbals. The development enhances the main shopping street in the area that also has a library and is nearby the city centre. The office building provides a greatly improved experience for customers, with a larger reception area and accessible interview rooms. 

First Minister opens new homes, office and piazza for New Gorbals

(from left) Councillor Susan Aitken, Nicola Sturgeon MSP and New Gorbals chair Linda Malone

The key feature of the overall development is the creation of the wide piazza and pedestrian thoroughfare that connects Crown Street with Laurieston Road. This space provides a new central location for community events and has already hosted ‘Party in the Piazza’, a summer family fun day which attracted over 400 people. The development is part of the overall transformation of the former Sandiefield multi-storey site which also includes the New Gorbals Health and Care Centre. 

Linda Malone, chairperson of New Gorbals Housing Association, said: “We are delighted to have Nicola Sturgeon here today to officially open the development. This marks the completion of the vision we shared with NHS Scotland and Glasgow City Council to transform this site, where the Sandiefield multi-storey blocks once stood.

“Six years on from their demolition our project has delivered 28 homes for social rent, a fantastic new health centre, our housing office and a public piazza. 

First Minister opens new homes, office and piazza for New Gorbals

The 28 new homes for social rent - Image by Lucy Knott Photography

“The Gorbals Piazza shows our ambition to go beyond just housing. Good placemaking, good streets, and quality public spaces are essential to creating communities that work for the people who live in them.” 

Also addressing the large gathering at the opening, Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is the third incarnation of the Gorbals since its time as a village. There’s a reason why this one has worked; community ownership. The work of the New Gorbals team shows us that getting housing right is absolutely critical. But it is not an end in itself. It’s about creating a community, a place, a neighbourhood with real liveability. For Glasgow to become the city we want it to be we need to replicate this on a grand scale.”

First Minister opens new homes, office and piazza for New Gorbals

Before unveiling an engraved slab to mark the opening of the piazza, Ms Sturgeon said: “This new development evidences the power, the value and the work of community control. What we’ve seen in the Gorbals is about allowing communities to direct and dictate the pace of change and shape of change in development. It’s much bigger than just housing; it’s about places for people to live in a broader sense, it’s about building and sustaining genuine, vibrant, flourishing communities.”   

Two architecture practices were involved in the design of these buildings. Elder and Cannon was commissioned for the corner building on Cumberland Street and Crown Street, and Page\Park for the flats and office block that continue along Crown Street. The Gorbals Piazza was designed by landscape architecture firm Ian White Associates

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