New ‘gro garden’ greenspace being created at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

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A stunning new ‘Gro Garden’ is beginning to take shape on an area of vacant land on the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus.

Diggers have already moved in to the site as part of plans for a £320,000 transformation, which will provide a new area of greenspace for patients, staff and the wider community.

The site is located close to Car Park 2 and is adjacent to the former AMB building.

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What will be in the garden?

When works are complete, the area will be a creative, relaxing outdoor space for staff, patients and visitors. Biodiversity is a key element of the improvement works, and the finished site will include birch trees, biodiverse shrub planting and wildflower meadows.

Plans for the new greenspace at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.Plans for the new greenspace at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
Plans for the new greenspace at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The area will also feature a Gro Garden - an all-weather structure with sheltered seating areas and growing planters constructed from recycled timber.

There will be accessible footpaths across the area, encouraging staff, patients and visitors to make use of this new green space. There will also be opportunities for staff to get involved with growing projects on the site.

‘Really excited’

Gemma Kitson, greenspace and urban realm officer for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “We’re really excited to get this project off the ground, thanks to our funders from the Scottish Government, NHSGGC Endowments and Estates.

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“As spring approaches, and the days start getting longer, we’re looking forward to getting outside and seeing the seasons change. This project will provide a great space on the QEUH campus for staff, patients and visitors to get outside and experience the health and wellbeing benefits associated with arts and nature.”

Arts and social enterprises

Arts will be weaved throughout the project, with work ongoing with Glasgow-based street art organisation artpistol Projects to design a mural for the gable end of the adjacent AMB building. The group previously delivered a number of murals on the site which depict greenspace and wildlife.

Sustainability has been at the heart of the project – the Gro Garden structure will be constructed utilising recycled and reusable materials notably recycled timber, diverting precious resources from landfill and saving greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of the development, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will also work with local social enterprises that provide training schemes and apprenticeships, creating valuable opportunities for people in the local community, with work that contributes towards a healthier and more sustainable population and planet.

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Ali Smith from artpistol Projects, said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this project to bring new life to what was a vacant lot on the site, with climate stories at the heart of our work. We are looking forward to creating a garden and art which reflects the local community, is filled with biodiversity and allows patients, staff and the wider community to come together and enjoy some green space.”

The garden has been designed to be suitable for re-use elsewhere on the campus, should the site be required to develop further clinical facilities.

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