It’s everyone’s bag!
Even if you don’t live or work there, one trip to the Southside of Glasgow confirms it’s the place to be for food, drink and shopping
GLASGOW is often described as a series of villages linked together and no-where is this more obvious than in the Southside of the city. This bustling area is a very desirable place to live, with a strong sense of a long-established community, ready to embrace the individual and celebrate anything new and interesting. It’s also a great mix of people, with generations of families, young professionals and students happily living side by side and enjoying everything the area has to offer. It helps that the Southside is buzzing in terms of retail, food and culture, with great shopping, cafes, restaurants and pubs, some of which also incorporate entertainment with up and coming musicians alongside long established international acts and drama, comedy and art exhibitions. Some of the shops here have been thriving for decades, recognising both traditional requirements and the need to adapt to suit newer trends. They may be part of Glasgow but places in the city’s southside areas such as Shawlands and Govan have their own history and culture. Almost like towns within a city,
they are distinct entities and while their fortunes have ebbed at times over the years they are both now beginning to flourish once more. Regeneration is bringing back energy and vitality to these communities and those who venture south of the River Clyde may be surprised at what they find if they stop to explore. It has been compared with Greenwich Village in New York yet the attractions of Shawlands are not as well known as those of Glasgow’s West End or the city centre. With a lot of live music and art already on offer in the area, the idea is to increase Shawland’s role as a cultural hub so that it does not compete with the West End but offer an alternative night or day out. There are also a number of popular festivals such as the Southside Film Festival, the Southside Fringe Festival and the Southside Festival. In addition, the £3.3m Shawlands Town Centre Action Plan programme agreed between Glasgow City Council, the community and local businesses form part of a series of improvements intended to help the area reposition itself as a destination, attract additional footfall and further investment to the centre. The public realm aspects of the project have been taking place for years and the benefits of this are already evident in additional footfall and businesses they have attracted. The works have also helped strengthened the “al fresco café” and “festival” culture which
many customers, when surveyed, said they liked about Shawlands. A £98,000 investment at Shawlands Academy has resulted in a unique outdoor digital animation studio which allows pupils to project their work onto the exterior of the building so that people can view it on their way into the town centre. There is also now planning permission for a new public square which will allow public performances and other events. Some of the pavements elsewhere in Shawlands have been widened to accommodate tables and chairs outside cafes and restaurants along with other areas that can be used for smaller events such as craft markets. More family friendly events are being organised to encourage footfall in the area.
STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
In Govan, the Central Govan Action Plan and the Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative have been at the heart of the regeneration process over the last ten years. These community-led initiatives have resulted in a staggering £90 million investment, which is recognised
as having palpably improved the attractiveness of the town centre and is making a positive change in local residents’ quality of life and prospects. As well as new homes for 1,800 people, two important historic buildings have been restored for use as modern offices. A number of other buildings of historic and architectural importance have been renovated, in many cases using Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) funding. In addition to the projects at Orkney Street and Fairfield, a major scheme to refurbish the Pearce Institute has been completed, as well as the renovation of high profile buildings including Cardell Halls/Brechin’s Bar, the former British Linen Bank, and the Trustee Savings Bank. Several public realm schemes have been implemented, notably at Govan Cross and Langlands Path and a number of traditional shop fronts have been restored. A range of other projects have been delivered within the CGAP framework, including support for a summer ferry service between Govan and the Riverside Museum, refurbishment of the Riverside Hall and the creation of a heritage centre at the Fairfield Shipyard. While there is undoubtedly still a lot to be done the future is looking bright with the opening of the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, a proposed new bridge and river crossing reconnecting Govan and Patrick, and plans to develop Water Row to re-establish Govan as an attractive riverside town.
Shawlands offers great shopping, restaurants, arts and entertainment opportunities
There’s something for all the family in Glasgow’s Southside, from food and drink to simply exploring the stunning Glass House, inset