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Speirs Locks Glasgow Masterplan

Glasgow Canal Development design by 7N Architects

2 Apr 2009

Glasgow Canal Project Wins Regeneration Award

The Spiers Locks project in Glasgow’s canal corridor has won a prestigious award from the British Urban Regeneration Association (BURA). The project won the award for Strategy and Masterplanning at the BURA awards in Liverpool on 31 March.

Speirs Locks Glasgow
Speirs Locks picture from the architect

Speirs Locks

The ongoing regeneration of the canal corridor in Glasgow is recognised as key to the transformation of the north of the city. Masterplans were prepared for two key regeneration opportunities within the canal corridor – one of these being Spiers Locks.

One feature of the masterplan for Spiers Locks that should be highlighted is the very high standard of sustainable design. The Scottish Government is considering including the masterplan in its Sustainable Communities Initiative.

The brief and outcome of the masterplan was prepared by the Canal Regeneration Partnership (a Joint Venture Partnership between Glasgow City Council and ISIS Waterside Regeneration, supported by British Waterways Scotland) working with local residents and stakeholders. The aim of the consultation was to build a consensus around the regeneration of the area through the engagement of local residents and stakeholders.

The Spiers Lock Masterplan aims to reconfigure the area into a mixed-use location (two million square feet of floorspace) offering increased levels of employment and services, an attractive residential environment and improved public realm, with the canal as the focus of the neighbourhood.

Positive change has already begun in the area, with the National Theatre of Scotland moving into the Civic Press building, a significant hotel (and hotel training development) moving in, with Scottish Opera remaining in the area.

The masterplan will be used as the basis for partnership working with other agencies.

Councillor Philip Braat, Deputy Executive Member for Business and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “The award is a great achievement and is the culmination of successful partnership working between Glasgow City Council and the private sector.

“The commitment and dynamic team working of all partners will ensure an enduring and tangible impact on the local community. The Spiers Locks Masterplan Framework will undoubtedly be a catalyst for the regeneration of the area.

“My congratulations go out to the Council’s partners 7N, Isis, British Waterways Scotland and Kevin Murray Associates, but more particularly to the community stakeholders without whose co-operation and engagement in this project this vision could not be achieved.”

Steve Dunlop, Director Scotland at British Waterways added: “We are delighted Spiers Locks was recognised with the top prize.

“We aim to create thriving canalside environments, bringing benefits to the people for generations to come and Spiers Locks is a prime example of this work.

“The design encompasses the uniqueness of the canal’s rich past, history and heritage, and also includes the current needs of the community and local businesses – it is an excellent model of collaboration between organisations.

“The development at Spiers Locks represents the kind of future we want, and are committed to delivering in Scotland. Judging by the success of so many Scottish canal based activities honoured at the awards we are achieving great things.”

Speaking on behalf of the Glasgow Canal Partnership, Gary Watt from ISIS Waterside Regeneration said: “This award is a ringing endorsement of the hard work by the entire Glasgow Canal Partnership to transform the historic Spiers Locks area into a new canal-side city neighbourhood centred around culture and performing arts.

“We may only be at the start of our journey but already we are seeing progress, with leading arts organisations including the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera and GAMTA already resident in the area.

“Despite the tough economic climate, productive discussions are underway with a number of other organisations and the challenge now is to build on the strong foundation that the Partnership has created to attract further investment in to this unique canal-side location in a bid to create a cultural hub of national and international significance, which will benefit both residents and visitors to the city.”

Glasgow Canal Regeneration – News 21 May 2009


Preferred masterplan is unveiled for historic canalside location

9 Jul 2008

Speirs Locks Masterplan

Preferred Design Is Unveiled For Historic Speirs Locks

* £100 million proposals will create a new and truly unique canalside location for Glasgow

Speirs Locks Speirs Locks Glasgow
Speirs Locks pictures from the architect

One of Glasgow’s most outstanding and historic canalside locations is set to be transformed into a community focused, cultural hub which will be the pride of the city for generations to come.

Following an intense 10 month engagement programme involving over 300 people, a preferred masterplan has now been created by the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership (GCRP) for the area around Speirs Locks which reflects both the unique setting and rich 200 year heritage of this very special waterside environment.

The £100 million project, which will be unlike any other development in the city, will see the transformation of approximately 30 acres around the canal into a place where hotels and businesses mix easily with homes and community, where children are encouraged to play in safe streets and where jobs and business opportunities will be created.

In the preferred design proposal low to medium rise green roofed ‘terraces’ sweep across the length of the site, positioned to maximise daylight and sunlight to gardens between the buildings.

The first phases of the proposed mixed use scheme include the creation of approximately 100,000 sqft of offices, 250 homes – including apartments and the opportunity for some canalside townhouses – a hotel, shops, workspaces and studios, community facilities and child friendly spaces, all set around a canal brought back to life with new moorings, more boats and a year round series of activities and events.

A key element of the proposal is the re-creation of a link which would allow residents and visitors to travel safely between the waterway in the north of Glasgow and the city centre once again. Safe and easy walking routes to local shops and amenities will ensure that car use is kept to a minimum.
Speirs Locks is one of the highest profile and most visible locations in Glasgow and with its elevated position the site has the potential to become a ‘Balcony for the City’. A mix of residential, commercial, leisure and canal uses would combine to make this a truly inclusive location with a unique canalside identity, to be enjoyed by local communities and visitors from across the city and beyond.

Already the presence of Scottish Opera and GAMTA (Glasgow Academy of Music Theatre Arts) have identified this place as a culturally significant location within the city and the partnership is now keen to build on the creative energy which already exists to create a culturally rich environment which will attract other high profile arts organisations to the area.

The masterplan proposal follows an extensive 10 month community engagement exercise which included 10 public meetings and involved the development of a close working relationship with local residents, businesses and school children to produce the plans.

Commenting on the proposal Gary Watt from the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership said: “A unique location like this requires a regeneration approach to match. We want to create places that existing canalside communities have helped to shape and which they feel proud of, places where residents can mix with tourists and businesses to enjoy the unique waterside environment.

“That is why we have spent over 10 months talking to everyone from residents and school children to arts groups, businesses and politicians, to ensure that the masterplan for Speirs Locks reflects the thoughts and feelings of those with an interest in the future of this historic location.”

The development will combine art, water, landscape, views and contemporary architecture, all positioned around and responding to the setting provided by the impressive listed warehouses of Speirs Wharf. In line with this the partnership has worked hard to create a design option which incorporates distinctive energy conscious buildings which contribute to the city skyline, and with taller buildings carefully positioned to retain the impressive views in to and out of the site.

Steve Dunlop, Director Scotland at British Waterways added: “Our aim is to ensure that we create a thriving canalside environment that will bring benefits to the people of Glasgow for generations to come. Following on from the new canal basin at Port Dundas this masterplan marks the next significant step in this process, with a design that encompasses the uniqueness of the canal’s rich past, history and heritage, and also includes the current needs of the community and local businesses. The proposed developments at Speirs Locks represent the kind of future we want, and are committed to delivering for this area.”

Councillor George Ryan, Executive Member for Development and Regeneration at Glasgow City Council, said: “The masterplan for the Speirs Locks development is another vital step towards the regeneration of another key part of Glasgow. I am delighted that the community has made such an input into the creation of the masterplan, a document that outlines the very exciting vision for the area. The unique mix of Speirs Locks promises to make this a special place to visit, work and live in.”

Aside from the main masterplan activity, the Partnership – with funding support from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow – has also been integrally involved in delivering a series of associated projects across the canal corridor. A new canal basin was completed at Port Dundas in 2006 and a dramatic new lighting scheme has recently been installed at the site.

A landscape link is now being developed from the canal at Speirs Locks to the city centre which would allow both residents and visitors alike to sample two very different, but equally stimulating experiences, contrasting the hustle and bustle of a truly international city centre with a relaxing canalside setting where you can delight in awe inspiring views over the city skyline. A series of events on the canal corridor have also provided a focus for community activity over the past few months and plans are being progressed for dragon boat racing on the waterway later in the summer and a spectacular canal festival at Maryhill Locks in October.

The masterplan proposal, which has been created by GCRP following a series of community focused events, has been facilitated by a team made up by Make Architects, landscape designers Rankin Fraser, artists KOAN3 and specialist regeneration consultancy Kevin Murray Associates. In the coming weeks the Partnership aims to refine the preferred design option prior to submitting the masterplan to Glasgow City Council later in the summer. Full details of the masterplan can be found on the Partnership’s website at www.glasgowcanal.co.uk.

Speirs Locks images/ information ssued on behalf of the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership by Wave PR 090708

Speirs Locks Masterplanners : 7N Architects

Speirs Locks : background information
Speirs Locks Proposal
Speirs Locks image from architect

Port Dundas Speirs WharfBuildings : Port Dundas Housing
Speirs Locks Glasgow
Speirs Locks image from architect

Speirs Locks former masterplanners : Make Architects

Glasgow Building Designs

Contemporary Glasgow Property Designs – recent architectural selection below:

Glasgow Landscape Architecture
Pollok Civic Realm
photograph : Andrew Lee

SECC Glasgow

Fort Shopping Centre

Burrell Museum

Buchanan Street

Comments / photos for the Speirs Locks Glasgow buildings design by 7N Architects page welcome

Websites : www.britishwaterways.co.uk; www.waterscape.com