Charity could take over former council depot at Elder Park

A former council depot site at Elder Park is set to be let out to a charity which has plans for an outdoor learning area with play equipment.

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Council officials will begin negotiations over a deal for the land around the old parks depot at Govan Road if councillors give their approval this week.

Under the plan, Glasgow City Mission, a Christian charity which helps homeless and disadvantaged people, would create a learning space to “encourage children to engage with the outside environment”.

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It is being considered under the People Make Glasgow Communities programme, which gives third-sector and community groups the opportunity to manage venues.

Glasgow City Mission already has permission to use a smaller area of land, next to the depot site, for 12 months and is now looking to rent the wider area. Council officials have reported the land is “currently closed to the public and is in a state of neglect with no specific purpose”.

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“Elder Park depot and the surrounding land within the depot boundary has been closed for a number of years,” a report added. “The land is owned by Glasgow City Council but is not maintained, and the site is managed by City Property.”

The charity has supported vulnerable people in Glasgow for almost 200 years and has run a child and family centre in Govan since 1987. It includes a pre-school nursery, parent and toddler groups, family support and advice classes and after-school and holiday clubs.

Glasgow City Mission also has a day centre, working with adults affected by homelessness, poverty and addiction, and an overnight welcome centre providing emergency shelter and move-on support to people at risk of street homelessness during the winter.

The council report added: “Elder Park is near the Mission’s child and family centre and during the pandemic, it used the park for many of their outdoor activities; also, their nursery children frequently use the space.

“Its proposal for the depot site expands its offer to the local community through the creation of an outdoor learning space. This would include play equipment that uses natural resources, such as timber and trees, to encourage children to engage with the outside environment.

“A small-scale storage unit, an outdoor children’s toilet facility and suitable outdoor shelter will also be provided.”

The charity intends to apply for funding, and is considering a fundraising appeal, to cover the costs of any work required on the site.