Project takes Gorbals into vote for Best Place award

IT used to be known as one of Britain's most notorious slums.

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This view of the Crown Street development project in Gorbals shows the development that has changed the area's image      Picture: Jamie Simpson
This view of the Crown Street development project in Gorbals shows the development that has changed the area's image Picture: Jamie Simpson

But now Gorbals is competing against well-known landmarks in a bid to be named Scotland's Best Place.

The Glasgow community, just south of the Clyde, is battling against sites including Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, the West Highland Way and Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

Also in the running are Merchant City, the Forth and Clyde Canal, East Kilbride, Dundee Water-front and Lerwick Waterfront in Shetland.

The Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland (RTPI) teamed up with consultancy Barton Willmore and the Scottish Government to identify the country's best places as part of their 2014 centenary celebrations.

They came up with the shortlist after a public call-out for ideas. The closing date to vote is May 7.

Gorbals received its nomination for its Crown Street Regeneration Project, which was set up in 1990 for the second phase of a redevelopment. The neighbourhood includes more than 1270 private homes, 600 socially rented homes and 80 student flats.

RTPI said in its profile of the area: "CZWG Architects were commissioned following an architectural competition and created a masterplan that returned the area to the mass and scale of the original tenement streets, with buildings addressing the streets once more."

Glasgow Southside Central Councillor Mhairi Hunter said: "I'm not surprised that the Gorbals is part of this list - it is a bit of a hidden gem in Glasgow. It has a strong sense of community and can feel like a village when you are walking around it.

"The whole regeneration of what's now called the New Gorbals is fantastic."

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Glasgow City Council leader, said: "I am delighted to see that two of the shortlisted projects are from Glasgow, and I'm sure they will do well in the final vote. Both the Merchant City and the New Gorbals are great examples of Glasgow's amazing ability to use the best of the old to create successful new communities."

To vote, visit www.rtpi.org.uk/scotlandsbest places.

rachel.loxton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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