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Royston Road

The case study below has been written by an external organisation. The views expressed may not necessarily be shared by the the Scottish Government

Royston Road Project - Building community confidence through physical regeneration

Key contact: David Harding

Address: Fablevision, Level 3, 7 Water Row, Glasgow, G51 3UW

Email:Royston Road Project

Web address:Royston Road Projectorwww.brocweb.com/spire

Royston Road Project in a nutshell

We started a campaign to save a local landmark - the Townhead Spire - and ended up involved in a multi-million pound regeneration project.

We have used arts in community regeneration and been instrumental in the positive long term impact on the communities of Royston, Blackhill, Provanmill and the North Glasgow area.

The issues addressed

Along Royston Road are some of the most deprived communities in Glasgow, suffering from:

• a lack of employment and training opportunities for young people

• a poor health record

• limited access to services.

The approach to the issues

The initial focus on saving the Townhead Spire developed into the physical development of the area and the creation of two new parks: Spire Park and Molendinar Park in Blackhill/Provanmill.

However, as Russell McLarty, Chair of the Board (1997-2006), explains : "The aim was not just to build two parks but also to make changes in the way local people saw themselves and their own community".

Projects were developed that touched all parts of the community, including:

• a photographic collection of pet dogs for permanent exhibition

• a community web project and website was established

• Bolt FM - a youth led community radio station for and by the young people of Royston, Blackhill, Germiston and Provanmill

• a writers workshop.

The proposals for a Molendinar Community Campus are now in the process of being implemented.

Setting up the work

In 1998 the local community formed the independent Royston Road Project Board with local people, project workers, and community and city councillors. A Limited company with links to the Development Trust Association for Scotland was set up. The main objectives were to bring in training and employment opportunities, provide something of interest to young people and involve them in making a difference to the area.

To meet its original objectives, the Royston Road Project Board worked with arts organisations such as Fablevision and individual artists on several linked projects. Fablevision were involved at the very start. They support the local community and the board, helping to identify funding, shaping ideas and finding artists and other consultants to work on the project.

Evidence of success

An independent evaluation carried out in 2001 was very positive about the impact of our work. It had created a sense of self and community confidence, particularly as a result of the physical regeneration of the spaces. Training provided by the Wise Group was also highlighted as a positive outcome. Other measures of success include:

• new housing developments designed with the park as the hub of the community

• national and international interest with a steady stream of visitors interested in our approach to community regeneration

• media coverage: BBC programme 'Restoration Nation' (2004) and STV news (2007) featuring our work in Royston Road and in the Backlands

• Scottish Urban Regeneration Fund (SURF) award (2002) in the 'Recreate' category.

• British Urban Regeneration Award in January 2008, one of four top awards out of 110 projects submitted.

One great thing - Community capacity building

We acknowledge the importance of the physical regeneration of the area. But, as Russell McLarty, explains: "More important is the transformation of peoples' attitudes and the creative energy produced". This ambition has ensured inspiring projects such as:

• Bolt FM - the youth led community radio. The station has become established as a youth training culture project

• a new youth shelter developed with support from the local police and in consultation with those who have previously been most destructive of the physical environment

• the creation of an Arts and Retention Network

• development of proposals for a Molendinar Community Campus in 2007

• a teenage girls heritage project in Germiston scheduled for 2008.

Lessons learnt

• Placing artists and creative processes can help transform a community's ambitions and confidence in its own ability.

• Large scale regeneration projects can be community led and artists can empower those engaged in the process.