October 1, 2010

Glasgow's Stalled Spaces

Glasgow City
Community Growing, Greenspace for Living, Urban Greening, Vacant & Derelict Land
CSGN Development Fund
Lead Partners:
Glasgow City Council
Glasgow Housing Association, GCV Green Network Partnership, Creative Scotland
Download Case Study


As a result of its industrial legacy, Glasgow currently has more vacant and contaminated sites than the rest of Scotland put together. Many of these sites have plans for future development. However, the current economic down turn has stalled development and in many cases it will be a number years until development is scheduled to begin.

Project background

The Stalled Spaces project was initiated by Glasgow City Council in 2010. It supports the use unproductive vacant land on a temporary basis to deliver a range of innovative projects for the benefit local communities.

How the project was delivered

The Stalled Spaces initiative is promoted through Glasgow City Council's website and an officer has been assigned to assess potential projects, assist interested parties and liaise with internal and external services.

There has been much support for the Stalled Spaces initiative and, as a result, nearly £500,000 of additional funding has been added to the money already invested by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Housing Association. Further support has included the supply of materials and the provision of staff time, marketing materials and professional advice.

Between 2010 and 2013, the Stalled Spaces initiative has helped over 40 projects. These have included growing spaces, community gardens, wildflower meadows and cycle tracks. A small grant fund also has been established in partnership with Glasgow Housing Association (Community Support for Stalled Spaces fund). This will assist communities to implement their own stalled space ideas; helping them to purchase equipment and materials.

Key facts and figures

Between 2010 and 2013, 13ha of land have been brought back into use. Of this, 8ha are located within the worst 15% of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation dataset.

Project outcomes

The Stalled Spaces initiative enriches the lives of local people by supporting projects that deliver social, economic, environment and cultural benefits. For example, it supports community growing projects that increase access to locally grown food and promote good dietary health.  It has also provided opportunities for the creative sector to implement arts projects and engage with local communities.

The initiative encourages local residents to have a greater involvement in decision-making and community life. It has also provided opportunities for inter-generational projects so as to reduce negative perceptions between age groups.

The initiative has provided training opportunities for young people, instilling them with confidence and providing them with the work experience necessary to secure employment in today's ultra-competitive labour market.

Quotes from participants and beneficiaries

"A derelict space is now becoming transformed into an attractive community area where children can learn about and access the natural outdoors in a safe way."

Sharon McKenna, Beechwood Nursery, Easterhouse

"Glasgow's innovative approach assists communities, landowners and developers to gain maximum benefit from a stalled site or land which hasn't been able to be developed due to the current economic difficulties. It makes a great difference to help a community kick start activity on a site to give it back a purpose for all local people to enjoy."

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council


The Concrete Garden in Possilpark received the Chairman's Award for Design at the Scottish Design Awards, 2011.

The Glasgow’s Stalled Spaces project received the City to City Barcelona FAD Award 2013.

CSGN Support and Learning

In 2011, the CSGN Development Fund provided financial support to seven stalled space projects throughout Glasgow. These included two urban growing spaces, two community gardens, an outdoor learning space, an outdoor collaborative arts space and provision of beehives and training to four stalled space projects.

This support has enabled the Initiative to provide additional resources to projects, adding value and encouraging community ownership.

Future development of project

A principal focus for the initiative is to develop partnerships with Glasgow's creative sector. With this in mind, Creative Scotland was invited to join the evaluation panel for the Community Support for Stalled Spaces Fund in 2012 and 2013.

The Initiative also plans to establish a 'Stalled Space Forum' where Local Authorities can come together to share good practice and assistance on the approach to vacant and derelict land.

Stalled Spaces is also assisting in the delivery of the Sustainable Glasgow Initiative by developing the 'Food Miles' Education Pack. This toolkit will be available to Glasgow's 140 Primary Schools. It links growing, purchasing locally and calculating carbon emissions with the Curriculum for Excellence. The 'Food Miles' pack will help children to make informed choices when purchasing food and will provide a greater awareness of the how we can all tackle Climate Change.

Funding Details:

Year Fund Value
2011 CSGN Development Fund 16,000

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