SPEIRS LOCKS ‘GROWING THE PEOPLE’ A SOCIAL ACTION PLAN FOR SPEIRS LOCKS, GLASGOW
Author — David Barrie September 2010
David Barrie & Associates davidbarrie.typepad.com
2: Summary of ‘Growing the People’
• project design & delivery • creative/economic planning • public involvement • social ventures
email@example.com Images courtesy of Tom Beardshaw/Native HQ , wearesnook.com, David Barrie, Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership.
2.2: Programme summary
2.3: Demand appraisal
3: The plan
3.2: Financing & Costs
3.3: Outputs prior to exit, Autumn 2013
4: The future
2 — Speirs Locks ‘Growing the People’: A social action plan for Speirs Locks, Glasgow
PROJECT SUPPORTERS GLASGOW CANAL REGENERATION PROJECT The Glasgow Canal Regeneration Project is a Joint Venture Partnership between Glasgow City Council and ISIS Waterside Regeneration, supported by British Waterways Scotland. Inspired by the best examples of the change that has taken place to run down canals around Britain and Europe, we are guided by a vision of the Glasgow Canal as; • A series of good places that people will choose to live, work and visit; • A home to diverse and sustainable neighbourhoods that provide a range of housing types and tenure, together with facilities and access to services, shops and employment; and • A distinctive, well-loved place that fulfils the potential it has to play a unique role in Glasgow’s Vision for the future. Speirs Locks forms a key element of the canal regeneration project. http://www.glasgowcanal.co.uk
THE SCOTTISH SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES INITIATIVE The Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative (SSCI) was launched in June 2008 to encourage the creation of places, designed and built to last, where a high quality of life can be achieved. The Initiative is about creating places which are ambitious and inspiring, raising standards and developing skills in design, architecture and sustainable construction. It is also about taking a long term view and is concerned with outcomes and delivery. Speirs Locks is an SSCI project. www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Built-Environment/AandP/Projects/SSCI
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN SCOTLAND Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS) is Scotland’s champion for excellence in placemaking, architecture and planning. We are an Executive NDPB of the Scottish Government. A+DS aims to support the creation of places that work, which provide people with real choices and, are ultimately, places where people want to be. We champion the highest standards in architecture and placemaking across all sectors, advocating a better understanding of the importance of quality design in both the public and private sectors. www.ads.org.uk
BRITISH COUNCIL CREATIVE CITIES Creative Cities is an international project designed and managed by the British Council. It shares experience across Europe on the ways in which creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation can help improve people’s lives-making cities better places to live, work and play. http://creativecities.britishcouncil.org
3 — Speirs Locks ‘Growing the People’: A social action plan for Speirs Locks, Glasgow
1: FORWARD David Barrie & Associates were appointed by Architecture and Design Scotland in March 2010 to develop an action plan for the creative regeneration of the Speirs Locks site in Glasgow.1 The company carried out the work in close association with the key landowner of the site – the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership (GCRP), existing tenants of the site, including the Scottish Opera, National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) and were inspired by ‘Speirs Locks: Growing the Place’, a report created by 7N Architects and published in January 2010. We have conducted three stages of work in support of the action plan: • An initial workshop with core stakeholder partners (April 2010) • A second workshop of stakeholders and other local and international professionals engaged in the business of creative and cultural regeneration. (May 2010) • We have also carried out a series of interviews with community groups and community representatives that we feel are critical to the future prosperity of the area. (June 2010)2 We are grateful to Architecture and Design Scotland and GCRP for the opportunity to contribute to thinking on the forward development of the site and the British Council for enabling expertise and ideas to be included and shared with participants from Central and Eastern Europe via their Creative Cities programme.3 The outputs for this work are: • Workshop events • Report and supporting documentation • Linked online social network Alongside the main body of this report, there are five appendices: appendix a: Strands of Action appendix b: Project Plan & Phasing, 2010-2013 appendix c: Draft programme budget appendix d: Event reports appendix e: Participants in the program
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2: SUMMARY OF ‘GROWING THE PEOPLE’ 2.1 INTRODUCTION Speirs Locks holds outstanding opportunity as a major cultural and creative quarter for the city of Glasgow. It has enlightened sponsors in the Canal Regeneration Partnership. It is excellently located. It has top-class existing tenants in the performing arts – Scottish Opera, Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and National Theatre Scotland. It has powerful natural assets in the Clyde & Forth Canal and physical assets such as the Whisky Bond warehouse. The development of the area is supported by an highly imaginative architectural plan and public realm strategy by 7N Architects and the development team at GCRP has initiated a leadingedge ‘meanwhile use’ occupation of redundant buildings by the arts community in Glasgow. But Speirs Locks can do more, much more. Speirs Locks can capture new creative, cultural and social markets. Speirs Locks can capture the imagination of a wider public. Speirs Locks can capitalise upon and develop what is currently taking place on site in to an offer that both supports the existing competitive advantage of the site, City and Scotland and captures new ground.
Speirs Locks holds outstanding opportunity as a major cultural and creative quarter for the city of Glasgow
Our vision for Speirs Locks is that it becomes an engine room for ‘making’ and ‘doing’ – for the production of goods and services that have social, creative and commercial value, a place for new social businesses, community and creative enterprise, a place that enables new employment, sustainable growth and a low carbon future. To achieve this, we recommend an unfolding sequence of creative, social technological and community uses of the site across three years that develop on an Open Source basis and enable the formation of new networks of entrepreneurs. The plan proposes four phases of work, supported by an investment in working capital of £186,010 and an additional venture fund of £121,000 to: • create at least 10 new businesses • support and enable the growth of a further 10 businesses • position Speirs Locks as a new business and residential district geared to social and creative enterprise, featuring work that directly addresses social need, emphasises small-scale manufacture and non-profit organization • create a new landscape for growing and selling food and the formation of new food-linked micro-enterprise • attract several thousand new visitors each year to the site to have fun, work, learn and share experience.
2.2 PROGRAMME SUMMARY To realise our vision, we recommend channels of work and sub-set strands of action:
Channel 1: Strategic entrepreneurship • Action 1: Form the ‘Speirs Locks Cultural Improvement District’ – the first of its kind in the UK – that through joint and performance-related financial contributions employs a full-time project programme manager.
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• Action 2: Review the administrative and governance context of the Speirs Locks site, align it with either the West End of the city or North Glasgow so that forward development can benefit more directly from partnership working and collaboration with organizations in these parts of the city.
Channel 2: Social entrepreneurship • Action 3: Develop occupancy of the Glue Factory and Whisky Bond as a low-cost, shared, cooperatively managed space by social and creative businesses, alongside and integrated with outline plans to turn the location in to a home for Glasgow Sculpture Studios.
Build the profile of Speirs Locks as a place about making and doing, as well as performing and exhibiting
• Action 4: Build the profile of Speirs Locks as a place about ‘making’ and ‘doing’, as well as ‘performing’ and ‘exhibiting’ by enabling small-scale manufacturers, repair services, craft and artisan producers to make use of the site by creating new workshop spaces behind the Glue Factory, the Whisky Bond and in other areas of the site through the work of a new green construction and demolition non-profit enterprise. • Action 5: Link with existing, dispersed urban growing projects in Glasgow, offer ‘leftover space’ on site as places for food-growing and position this in a way that over time, Speirs Locks can be made available as a hub for city-wide urban agriculture initiative, a ‘food cupboard’ for surplus growth across the city and food micro-enterprise in the city, such as community bakeries, co-operative kitchens and supermarkets.
Channel 3: Social entrepreneurship • Action 6: Make the exceptional creative and craft skills of Scottish Opera, RSAMD and National Theatre more available to the public by supporting the development of their community engagement programmes and generating momentum that allows their buildings in time to be opened up to the public • Action 7: Extend use of Speirs Locks as an entertainment space for performance, markets, urban sports, water sports and social gaming, over and above current outstanding work, such as use of the Glue Factory as an art venue and the canal for Dragon Boat racing • Action 8: Develop the space behind the Scottish Opera building as an outdoor space for recreational use by the community, especially the Chinese community, and so add to their existing presence on site
2.3 DEMAND APPRAISAL Our recommendations are based upon a keen appraisal of demand. In support of this paper, we consulted over 100 different individuals and organizations in Glasgow and elsewhere, including key stakeholders in the site, tenants, officers of the City Council, the local community, creative industries, food, social enterprise, arts and regeneration sectors. These communities of interest declared unanimous support for a strategy to: • unlock the full economic and social value of Speirs Locks through a programme of public involvement • enable Speirs Locks to develop a distinctive, differentiated offer from other ‘creative districts’ in Glasgow, the U.K. and internationally • make Speirs Locks available to communities under-served by current facilities in the city
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• enable Speirs Locks to play an active role in the social life of the city • extend the terms of engagement and endearment of the site, beyond the performing and visual arts An appraisal was also carried out of the strategic context of the site, referring to: • Scottish Government, Economic Recovery Plan (2010) • Scottish Government, Greener Scotland Programme • Creative Scotland, Vision statements (2010) • Metropolitan Glasgow Vision (2003) • Glasgow Council City Plan (2008) • Let Glasgow Flourish: Glasgow Centre for Population Health (2006) • The Forth & Clyde Canal Local Development Strategy (2007) • Yellow Book: Glasgow City Centre North Baseline Study (2009) • Speirs Locks Masterplan (2008) • Speirs Locks: Growing the Place (2010) • GCV Green Network: Sow and Grow Everywhere (2010) • RSAMD: The Big Picture Strategy (2008/2009)
2.4 THE CASE FOR THE APPROACH Our proposal is based upon this appraisal, certain best practice models of sustainable placemaking and the thoughts and ideas of participants in the project workshops.
Development models There are certain world-class development initiatives that have rolled out a concerted, multivalent programme of activity to effect transformational and sustainable development of regeneration sites – and they have inspired our plan. Many have been delivered through public, private and Third Sector partnerships. Several have taken an open, ‘grassroots’ approach to site development and occupancy. Most have emphasised social, creative and community enterprise: • The NDSM Docks, Amsterdam, The Netherlands4 • The Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York5 • The High Line public-private partnership, New York6 • Westerhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands7 • London Borough of Hackney/Design for London/LDA: Making Space in Dalston (2009)8 • New Deal for Communities: the Shoreditch Trust9 • The Wimby! Project, Hoogvliet, The Netherlands10 • Renew Newcastle, New South Wales11 • Wakefield Council/HCA/British Waterways etc.: The Castleford Project12 • Balsall Heath Forum Ltd., Balsall Heath, Birmingham13
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Context Underpinning this report and its recommendations is a series of strategic economic, social, cultural and site-specific considerations. The social value of development sites As the idea of the ‘creative city’ and value of sustainability has taken hold in urban development, the value of cultural master-planning, community engagement, the adaptive re-use of the environment for the near-term occupation and routes to unlocking the social value of real estate has become ever more important.14 As investment return becomes more pressing and cities increasingly compete globally, retention of local talent and outstanding place-making are not just important to effective development but also competitive advantage. As recession and public expenditure cuts take hold and opportunities for new employment and social inclusion become ever more critical, the informal use of places for social value, alongside promotion and exploitation of the ‘social economy’ – especially the formation of new forms of enterprise, such as social enterprise – has become a priority.15 The regeneration context Since the Main Street movement in the United States and key initiatives in the U.K. such as Enterprise Zones, the Liverpool Garden Festival, the development of Coin Street and of areas such as Shoreditch, London, the value of dispersed but connected social, economic, community and cultural activity and the formation and support of new or young for-profit and non-profit enterprise to regeneration – alongside the physical development of real estate – has become increasingly accepted.16 Generating additional value from land assets, especially additional stakeholder value and engagement has been central to the formation of public-private partnerships, LABVs, Urban Regeneration Vehicles and City Development Companies.17 Programmes of social, creative and economic activity have grown up around Local Assetbacked Vehicles – such as in Croydon – and popular human currencies such as food have been developed as media for regeneration, such as in the regeneration of Borough Market, London.18 Programmes of community activity, alongside construction and commercial retail strategies have been intrinsic to the successful development of towns and cities like Barcelona, Lyons, Southwold (Suffolk), Castleford (Yorkshire) and Marylebone High Street (London).19 It is increasingly accepted that the development of brownfield, inner city sites is a process of phased, incremental engagement of differing communities – a process of ‘market-making’ through revenue, as well as capital investment. The impact of changing demography and life-experience in cities is placing increasing emphasis upon clustering people and lifestyle and opening up an urbanscape and building typology that is highly networked.20 In the context of climate change and increasing pressure upon public services, this more open approach to place-making, one based upon the birth and nurture of new entrepreneurial networks and fertile communities makes more sense than ever.21 8 — Speirs Locks ‘Growing the People’: A social action plan for Speirs Locks, Glasgow
An integrated, interactive and less capital-intensive programme of development heightens environmental performance
It stands to reason that a more integrated, interactive and less capital-intensive programme of development heightens environmental performance, in part by enabling more flexible, effective regulation and management of carbon emissions. Such an approach increases the capacity of a site and its promoters to source local products and shape a product with lower lifecycle costs. In the current economic climate, there is additional value in real, perceptual and conceptual terms in promoting social and environmental performance. The practical, ad-hoc, ‘lo-fi’ tone that is implicit in a lot of community or creative enterprise aligns well with the practical, ad-hoc, civic and local approach to public policy that is being promoted currently by Government in the UK.22 Speirs Locks Leading edge work has been carried out to date in the development of Speirs Locks – not least, 7N Architects’ consideration and implementation of a series of creative physical interventions on site, the Glasgow Canal Partnership’s extensive programme of engagement of the community and evolving use and forward plans for the Glue Factory and Whisky Bond as key venues in the future of the visual arts in Glasgow. It is clear that the renewal of physical infrastructure and the creation of sparkling new spaces and places are a key feature of development of the site and seen to be a key engine of local prosperity. That said, a key message from key stakeholders who were consulted in the formulation of this report is that a forward process needs to evolve that fosters new communities in, around and connected with the site, builds up and out stakeholder engagement in development and creates new opportunities for adjacent areas and ancillary communities. Consensus seems to be that that now is an effective moment in the development and economic cycle to implement a plan that pulls sharp focus on this but that works from the principle that a ‘sustainable community’ is the sum of a series of social, economic, physical, ecological and emotional resources and values and a key task is to establish in the near term a development process that facilitates this, captures it over time and enables it to feed back in to land value. Our recommendations seek to capture this spirit and directly reflect and take forward some of the key ideas and aspirations expressed at the workshops: • the emphasis by Steve Dunlop (Director of Regeneration, British Waterways) upon creating an educating/learning environment • by Brian McGraw (Glasgow City Council) and Gary Watt (ISIS) on supporting and building upon existing programmes of creative activity and community engagement • by Alex Reedjik (Scottish Opera), Vicki Featherstone (National Theatre) and Gary Brunton/ Elaine Whyte (RSAMD) on making Speirs Locks a place that is socially useful and exploits its natural landscape • by Chris Brown (igloo Regeneration) on Speirs Locks becoming a vibrant, surprising event space, supported by a combination of public- private finance and ‘sweat equity’
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• by Stuart Gulliver (University of Glasgow) on finding ways and means by which the existing cultural institutions on site (‘the whales’) could support a new, entrepreneurial eco-system (populated by ‘plankton’) • by Roy van Dalm (creative community consultant) on exploiting the human and on-going economic value of production (‘making’) that is already going on on site • by John Thackara (design consultant) on exploiting the value of ‘touch-points’ – or small scale interactive services that create human, social as well as commercial utility and markets • by Rohan Gunatillake (Mission Models Money) on finding ways and means to create a selfsustaining economy for the future of the site, perhaps using barter or non-money systems of value • and by all, the need to foster grass-roots community and human engagement with the site Our recommendation seeks to span governances, management and embrace practical short, medium and longer-term measures raised at the second workshop, such as: Short term
• Continued use: Glue Factory
• Conversion of Glue Factory & Whisky Bond
• Boats for offices
• Guerilla gardening
• Canalside lighting
• Hidden gardens
• Community bakery
• Canal canoeing
• Temporary orchards
• Coffee Shop
• Opera on the canal
• Art on the street
• Computer repair business
• Webcam coverage
• Outdoor music
• Sewing classes
• Dragon Festival #2
• Music festival
• Naming programme
• Bike-sharing point
• Craft market
• Food stores
• Upcycling depot • Yoga/dance facilities
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Endnote We have directed ‘Growing the People’ to enable Speirs Locks to become a place that is a success, with a distinct collective identity but we feel this can only be achieved if a market is created for the space. A near-term strategy needs to be implemented that builds the attractiveness – or ‘sales potential’ – of the site through enhanced local, creative and social use and in parallel develops the capacity and will of certain ‘buyers’ to engage with and commit to using and occupying the site in the future.
An agenda has already been set to shift perception and use of Speirs Locks from its current position as a distribution hub for culture to a ‘creative quarter’
An agenda has already been set to shift perception and use of Speirs Locks from its current position as a distribution hub for culture to a ‘creative quarter’. However, we feel that the agenda needs to be further extended and engage with broader social, commercial and creative economies. In contemporary culture, the growth of the internet and the way in which users interact with it has established a principle of making, sharing and creating content, and people as active, not passive consumers. This plan is inspired by this and an assumption that the time is right to start to approach physical spaces as enablers of ‘content’ and ‘knowledge’ production and distribution – and that to develop a programme that supports this principal will aid the competitive advantage of the site, the quality of its commercial and residential offer and return benefits to the community. Our view is that in modern society, either through obligation (i.e. unemployment or shorterworking weeks), free will (i.e. lifestyle interests in doing healthy things) or political dictat (i.e. Coalition Government policy on the ‘Big Society’), a growing number of people are shifting from being ‘couch potatoes’ to being willing to participate: and to create spaces and places in which this can be lived out is to service future demand. In our plan, rather than originate a long shopping list, we have sought to establish channels and actions that cultivate particular communities of interest and audiences for the site, that can interlink, reinforce one another and are strong enough, over time, to induce successive enterprise. We have also shaped the plan in such a way that each channel of activity has the capacity to be self-organized, self-sustaining and self-financing – a plan capable of gaining a momentum and become, in the words of Mohammed Yunus, the economist, banker and high-priest of social business: ‘an engine that never stops running and needs little or no fuel from the outside.’
3: THE PLAN ‘Growing the People’ recommends that Speirs Locks become a place known for ‘making’, ‘doing’ and enabling new social and creative enterprise that builds on its growing reputation for exhibiting the visual arts and performance. This will be an attention-grabbing prequel to the site being developed out as a worldclass mixed-use neighbourhood that acts as a catalyst and support to the economic development of the wider area.
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The plan will seed-invest in occupations, commercial and entertainment uses of the site – in effect incubate many of the elements that will contribute to Speirs Locks becoming a known, appreciated and appealing part of the city. Our plan is for a new programme of work to deliver the following outcomes: • create at least 10 new businesses • support and enable the growth of a further 10 businesses • position Speirs Locks as a new business and residential district geared to social and creative enterprise, featuring work that directly addresses social need, emphasises small-scale manufacture and non-profit organization • create a new landscape for growing and selling food and the formation of new food-linked micro-enterprise • attract several thousand new visitors each year to the site to have fun, work, learn and share experience We recommend that these are delivered through three channels of work • Channel 1: Strategic entrepreneurship • Channel 2: Social entrepreneurship • Channel 3: Community entrepreneurship Eight strands of action: Eight strands of action: • Action 1: Form the ‘Speirs Locks Cultural Improvement District’ • Action 2: Review administrative contexts of the site • Action 3: Open up the Glue Factory and Whisky Bond to use as low-cost, shared workspace • Action 4: Create workshop space in the Whisky Bond and to the rear of the Glue Factory • Action 5: Carry out urban agriculture in leftover spaces • Action 6: Open up Scottish Opera, RSAMD, National Theatre buildings • Action 7: Create and run public use and entertainment programme • Action 8: Create community space behind Scottish Opera building • A detailed narrative of each channel and actions is attached in Appendix A.
3.1 DELIVERY We recommend that the work is delivered by a new and especially appointed ‘curator’ or project/programme manager for Speirs Locks, as suggested at the second project workshop. We propose that this new manager is supported by staff and interns seconded by Scottish Opera, RSAMD and the National Theatre, as recommended by senior executives of these organisations in the first project workshop. We recommend the formation of a ‘Cultural Improvement District’ for Speirs Locks – the first of its kind in the U.K. – a development vehicle modelled on a Business Improvement District, endorsed and funded by contributions from stakeholders and ever-growing number of partners and tenants in the site.
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We recommend that this vehicle operates for three years, that it sets in train each channel and strand of action, delivers early outputs and over time, responsibility for forward governance passes to an entrusted organization with the design and implementation of actions passing to existing or newly-created voluntary, Third Sector, for-profit and non-profit project partners or organizations. The principal of an improvement district and forward revenues could be augmented by this Trust either receiving funds from future commercial or residential tenants of the site or it fusing with a larger community management arrangement for the site, with revenues secured as part of a service charge.
We recommend that at inception, a Steering Group of core stakeholders and tenants of the site is established
We recommend that at inception, a Steering Group of core stakeholders and tenants of the site is established with an initial programme of work and partner responsibilities established via a Memorandum of Understanding. We recommend that the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership, ISIS or Creative Scotland act as Accountable Body across the first three years of work either independently or in combination. A spreadsheet that shows the prospective programme and its phasing is available at Appendix B.
3.2 FINANCING & COSTS There are two kinds of expenditure associated with achieving the outcomes identified in this report: • Initial working capital to enable the programme to proceed • Seed capital to invest in ‘early wins’, trigger subsequent activity and the work of the legacy vehicle Appendix C carries a spreadsheet with a a budget for these works but in summary it identifies the following costs: Phase
Core costs (£) 23
Project equity investment (£) 24
We recommend that all expenditure is financed on the basis of a combination of public funding, commercial funding (from value uplift pot and ticketing sales), ‘sweat equity’, other forms of donated contributions or a charge on new tenancies. It is assumed that as and when partnerships form around the delivery of the programme of work and others are to share in its benefits, some of the implementation costs will be borne by partners in return. 3: the plan
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It is assumed that partners, especially GCRP, will support the programme in such a way as to align it effectively with funding streams and other sources of finance at a higher administrative level – a key factor to consider in the alignment of the site with the social, economic and cultural development of the city. Built in to the budget is an assumption that as early as possible in the programme, the design and delivery of elements will be subject to separate business plans and these plans will demonstrate self-financing within two years of operation. This will incentivize innovation and pragmatism around delivery, for instance the formation of a co-operative to manage occupation of the Glue Factory and so divert risk to the membership, rather than the initiating body. To support the principle of innovation, sustainability, shared responsibility and risk, we recommend that use of a non-financial currency or trading instrument for occupation and use of the site is explored from the earliest days. For instance, tenants of the Glue Factory could exchange goods and services with those wanting to use either the Factory or other locations on sites for their own purposes. Visitors to the site could also be invited to pay for use of facilities in a trade-able, non-financial currency, like the Brixton Pound or Berkshare.25 How might partnership, sub-delivery of channels of work and financing work? Below is an indicative framework of channels of work, actions and prospective composite funding arrangements by founder members of the ‘Cultural Improvement District’ and other prospective external parties: Theme
Formation of ‘Cultural GCRP Improvement District’
Scottish Government Creative Scotland ‘CID’ Partnership
Review administrative GCRP context of site
Glue Factory as centre for social business
Glasgow North Partnership/Glue Factory Industrial & Provident Society/This is Central Station.com
GCRP Development Trusts Association Scotland Co-operative Development Scotland Scotland Unltd.
Urban agriculture in ‘leftover spaces’
Glasgow & Clyde Valley Scottish Government GCC Green Network Culture & Sport Glasgow NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Big Lottery Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Creation of workshops Glasgow North Regeneration Agency behind Glue Factory and in/around prospective Sculpture Studios at Whisky Bond Urban agriculture in ‘leftover spaces’
Prospective Funding Partner
Glasgow & Clyde Valley Scottish Government GCC Green Network Culture & Sport Glasgow NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Big Lottery Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
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Prospective Funding Partner
Community engagement & physical changes to SO, RSAMD, NT buildings
Creative Scotland CID Partners
Creative, social, entertainment programme
Creative Scotland Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector
Community engagement programme
GCC/Local People Leading
3.3 OUTPUTS PRIOR TO EXIT, AUTUMN 2013 By the end of Year 3, it is recommended that the responsibilities and work of the founding team passes to a legacy vehicle. To frame this exit strategy, we recommend that the following outputs are established as the basis of a business plan for the founding team by Autumn 2013, aligned with the earlier outline of outcomes: • An independent, self-financed organization managing activities on site • Speirs Locks is aligned with either the West End or North Glasgow districts • The Glue Factory provides self-managed space for at least 10 social businesses, • The Whisky Bond and other locations on site provide opportunities for at least 10 new manufacturing/’making’ organizations • Speirs Locks is integrated in to the educational and visit programmes of the three performing arts companies currently on site • Speirs Locks is host to several new food enterprises and is the thriving network hub for local food growing and sales of surplus yielded in the city • Speirs Locks is well known in Glasgow as a performance/public space, especially for ‘edge’ creativity in the craft, fashion and music industries and is well-established as a venue for outdoor/installation ‘tryouts’ • Speirs Locks is actively used and enjoyed recreationally by adjacent local communities, especially the Chinese community
3.4 AN EARLY, EMERGING ‘PROJECT COMMUNITY’ From this very first piece of work, a series of exciting early relationships have already been struck up, evidencing the appeal of Speirs Locks to prospective participants in an forward programme and providing early leads to the immediate formation of a project or prospective tenant community.
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Prospective parties interested in making use of the Glue Factory and Whisky Bond include: • Glasgow Sculpture Studios – a centre for research, production, presentation and dissemination of contemporary sculptural practies 26 • The Hub – rentalised workspace provider with existing facilities in twelve global cities 27 • Radio Magnetic – an alternative Internet music station – interested in establishing a community radio station on site 28 • Livity – a youth communications agency and award-winning social enterprise based in London – interested in opening a Scottish branch at Speirs Locks 29 • Welcome Home – a multi-disciplined gallery and store with on-site studio space for production – interested in extending activities to the site and opening a design gallery 30 • Missions Model Money – an arts management company, interested in exploring the Glue Factory as a network base for its activities 31 Prospective occupants of workshop spaces include: • Common Wheel – a bicycle repair and recycling business for people suffering from mental illness that also runs a taxi service in the City 32 • The Bullwood Project – a woodworking charity based in West Glasgow – would like to sell products from a retail outlet 33 Prospective organizations who would engage with urban agriculture on site: • The North Glasgow Community Food Initiative 34 • Lambhill Stables – and would like to link activity on site with a heritage trail between Speirs Locks and Lambhill 35 • Sow and Grow Everywhere initiative (NVA) 36 • Landshare 37 Prospective partners in delivering a creative/arts/community programme include: • The Chinese Community Development Partnership (CCDP) 38 • Ricefield Arts and Cultural Centre 39 • Impact Arts community arts organization 40 • CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts41, with a special interest in ‘tryout’ spaces for installation artists • Glasgow Life, Culture and Sports Glasgow 42 • Depot Arts Co, a charity carrying our performance for young people 43 • Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre 44 This is on top of the list of organizations and individuals consulted and interested in participating in forward planning, listed in Appendix E.
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4: THE FUTURE All places, even countries, are distinctive clusters of people, communities, organizations, institutions, beliefs, tastes, personal and public mania. Go out on to the street, slip on a pair of psychological x-ray spex, forget the physical ways in which we organize ourselves and you start to see the city as a zoo that encloses a multitude of social, economic and personal struggles. Convention has it that the best, most effective form of strategy-making and public engagement in the development of real estate is to consult widely, draw differing strands together and then forge a consensual route forward. This approach may have been proven to work but the coalition-building that has recently gone on in politics in the U.K., the incrementalism and pragmatism that recession calls for and the ways in which people gather together as communities of interest on the internet seem to throw in to question the effectiveness of taking a consensual ‘everyone-gets-something-and-no-onegets-nothing’ attitude. This plan has started from a position of saying that Speirs Locks has qualities, it holds opportunity but that a way needs to be found to both extend that opportunity but also create a vehicle that with a light touch and a little financial pump-priming enables the site to be occupied in a way that both attracts attention, energy and holds value for the future development of the site. In the generation and delivery of public policy, what is often needed is what policy strategist Geoff Mulgan, Director of the Young Foundation, calls a ‘horizontal support’.45 A horizontal support is not so much a framework for action or set of ‘bottom-up’ initiatives but a vehicle that acts as an engine of participation – think of it as a ‘platform’ that over time gets populated by people, organizations and activity and enables change. In their recent report on neighbourhood regeneration, the Sustainable Development Commission prioritized the empowerment of community groups to come together and work in partnership with local authorities and businesses to deliver multiple benefits. 46 They established as best effective practice that improvement of places in an integrated, area-based way delivers energy efficiency and wider sustainability benefits such as improving health, reducing crime and creating local jobs. This plan for the near-term future of Speirs Locks has sought to blend the two. The plan recommends a sequence of actions that are to be implemented in parallel in an integrated way and forms the work of a light-touch, inexpensive vehicle that enables occupation, use and development of the site to take on a life of its own. Over the last decade, creative and cultural-led regeneration has placed an emphasis upon either iconic architecture, hub facilities, artistic intervention or shopped a consumer market identified by the demographers as ‘prosperous professionals’, ‘educated urbanites’ or ‘aspiring singles’.
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In the current and future economy, these markets will shrink. What’s more, recent experience has demonstrated that the risk associated with exploiting excess capital or making assumptions on disposable income are fraught. This plan proposes that Speirs Locks both widens its horizons but also the way in which it does business and reaches for a sustainable community. It recommends that GCRP and site stakeholders present and future both extend uses and occupation of the site but also see the site as a space for social venturing. Speirs Locks needs to be seen as a place in which nodes of initiative and activity can take place at their own pace and to their own logic. It needs to embrace the fact that enterprises that tend to merge the profit motive with a moral imperative are a growth part of the creative and cultural sector and trigger action, engagement and enterprise in their own right. Speirs Locks needs to embrace the fact that a prosperous, sustainable community is in part a network of private and public organizations, for profit and non-profit and that in parallel with improvements to the physical public realm and on the back of interim occupations by visual arts organizations, a plan now needs to be implemented that starts to see ‘settlers’ occupying and owning the site and diverse audiences engage with it. This will deliver innovative, productive, zany, attention-grabbing uses – uses that fulfil the memorable phrase of Kevin Kelly, editor of Wired magazine and the former editor of the Whole Earth catalogue: ‘Wherever attention flows, money will follow.’ 47
References 1 For more on the work of David Barrie & Associates, see http://davidbarrie.typepad.com and follow links on About page 2 For the duration of this piece of work, an online Ning network was created, available at http://speirslocks.ning.com/ A directory of participants in this programme of work is recorded in Appendix E of this report. Stage reports are collected in Appendix D. 3 For British Council linkage to this programme of work, see their web-page on Speirs Locks – http://bit.ly/dlav8g 4 More on NDSM Docks – http://www.creativeamsterdam.nl/page/911 5 More on Madison Square Park Conservancy – http://madisonsquarepark.org/Home/Default.aspx 6 For more on High Line, see http://www.thehighline.org/ 7 For more on Westerhuis, see http://www.westerhuisamsterdam.nl/ 8 For more on Making Space for Dalston, see http://bit.ly/aYniTb 9 For more on Shoreditch Trust, see http://www.shoreditchtrust.org.uk/ 10 For more on Welcome into My Backyard! Project, see http://bit.ly/aJHVrH 11 For more on Renew Newcastle, see http://renewnewcastle.org/ 12 For more on The Castleford Project, see http://bit.ly/83B2u 13 For more on Balsall Health Forum, see http://www.balsallheathforum.org.uk/ 14 For example, see Property Week, ‘What to know: ‘Meanwhile Uses’, 30 April 2010; British Property Federation, Property Development and the Community, 2006; RICS Foundation, ‘Sustainability and the Built Environment – an agenda for action’, 2004 15 See Robin Murray, ‘Danger & Opportunity: Crisis and the new social economy’ (NESTA, 2009) 16 For a summary of the approach, see case study on regeneration of Castleford, Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal (2009) and Balsall Health in Localis paper, Small State, Big Society (2010) 17 See earlier references and PWC/Centre for Cities, City Solutions (2007) – see below. 18 For more on Croydon LABV approach, see PWC/Centre for Cities, City Solutions: Delivering Local Growth (2007) and start of community engagement programme at Imagine Croydon
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19 For the economic development of Lyons, see references here. Marylebone High Street, Simon Baynham, The Revitalisation of Marylebone High Street (2010) 20 See Paul Clarke (2008), ‘Exploring new measures of urban density’ (Royal College of Art, Helen Hamlyn Centre, London) http://www.hhc.rca.ac.uk/976-1012/all/1/Metricity.aspx 21 See Goldman Sachs, Global Investment Research, ‘Change is coming: A framework for climate change’ (May 2009) 22 Cabinet Office, Government puts Big Society at heart of public sector reform (May 2010) 23 ‘Core costs’ relate to initial work of a project consultant, costs of a ‘curator’/programme manager, overheads and contingency. 24 ‘Equity investment’ relates to seed investment in early actions, to be match funded by others with either direct funding, forward funding against revenue receipts, membership fees, ‘sweat equity’ or donations of time or services. 25 For more on Brixton Pound, see http://brixtonpound.org/. 26 More on Glasgow Sculpture Studios at http://www.glasgowsculpturestudios.org/ 27 More on The Hub at http://the-hub.net/ 28 More on Radio Magnetic at http://radiomagnetic.com/ 29 More on Livity at http://www.livity.co.uk/ 30 More on Welcome Home at http://www.welcomehomestore.co.uk/ 31 More on Mission Models Money at http://www.missionmodelsmoney.org.uk/ 32 More on Common Wheel at http://www.commonwheel.org.uk/ 33 More on The Bullwood Project at http://www.bullwoodproject.org/ 34 More on The North Glasgow Community Food Initiative at http://www.ngcfi.org.uk/ 35 More on Lambhill Stables at http://www.lambhillstables.co.uk/ 36 More on SAGE at http://bit.ly/beEbge 37 More on Landshare at http://www.landshare.net/ 38 More on CCDP at http://www.ccdp.org.uk/ 39 More on Ricefield at http://ricefield.org.uk/ 40 More on Impact Arts at http://www.impactarts.co.uk/ 41 More on CCA at http://cca-glasgow.com/home 42 More on Glasgow Life at http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/ 43 More on Depot Arts at http://www.depotarts.co.uk/ 44 More on Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre at http://www.toonspeak.co.uk/ 45 For more on this, see Geoff Mulgan, The Art of Public Strategy (2010) 46 Sustainable Development Commission, The Future is Local (2010) 47 Kevin Kelly, How LinkedIn will fire up your career, Fortune Magazine, (March 1, 2010)
19 — Speirs Locks ‘Growing the People’: A social action plan for Speirs Locks, Glasgow