Interest grows from Glasgow community groups in bid to take over city spaces and property

Glasgow City Council has received a huge volume of applications
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Hundreds of community groups in Glasgow have been launching bids to take over buildings and land in their neighbourhoods.

Glasgow City Council has received a “remarkable” 570 expressions of interest from organisations wanting to take control of space or property across the city while 90 groups are in the process. The different groups are involved in a range of different activities including sport, growing food, childcare, offering financial support and personal well-being among others a meeting heard.

SNP councillor Ruairi Kelly, convenor for neighbourhood services and assets, said: “The People Make Glasgow Communities Programme (PMCG) is empowering communities to take a more active role in delivery of local services, make their own decisions and meet the challenging needs of our neighbourhoods by giving communities the opportunities to become more involved in the venues and services they rely on.

“The council has received a quite remarkable 570 expressions of interest from groups to take local control of sports, education and community venues through to parkland and green spaces.”

Park Villa Football Development taking over Glasgow Club Drumoyne and Easterhouse Sports Centre being run by the Phoenix Centre, Easterhouse Community Sports Hub and Basketball Scotland are among examples of local recent “empowerment.” Ninety requests from organisations are currently ongoing and a dozen groups have “been through the process” according to Councillor Kelly.

Speaking at last week’s full council meeting, the north east politician said: “The geographic spread of groups expressing interest goes right across the city as well. And many of those who have either already had buildings or land transferred or are in the process of doing so have deep roots in the communities that have long faced social challenges in areas such as Govan, Easterhouse, Pollok, Shettleston, Springburn and elsewhere.

“The security of having their own facilities and the ability to expand the range of services and activities that can be delivered as a result means asset transfer through PMGC is also helping organisations to secure additional funding to develop their work that the council would otherwise be unable to access.”

Councillor Kelly was responding to a question from fellow SNP councillor Paul Leinster about how communities are taking a more active role in running local services and managing venues. Langside councillor Leinster pointed out group South Seeds, which helps people live more sustainable lives, have secured a 25 year lease of the old changing rooms in Queens Park.