Watchmeal Works Ready to Start

Following our consultation events last year, and the design work that we have undertaken, Knowes Housing Association’s application to the Big Lottery Community Spaces was successful. This means that funding was awarded to undertake a complete transformation of the communal space to the rear of Watchmeal Crescent. In addition to this, we were successful with an application to the Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund to create a training and employability project.Watchmeal panorama

These two funds mean that Knowes Housing Association can offer up to six local unemployed residents with six months training in environmental construction and dedicated support to look for work on completion of the placement.

The designs for this site will ensure that local residents will benefit from this space and will be involved in the development, design and implementation of the new community garden

Pierre De Fence, Knowes HA Director said:

“I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to attract funding from the Big Lottery and the Scottish Government to transform this area into something that will hopefully be an area that local residents are proud of and can identify with. Now that summer is finally here we can get a feel for how this area might be used in future years, providing a space which people of all age groups can enjoy.

“We look forward to working with the community over the coming months.”

Knowes Housing Association has appointed CAOS (Community Arts; Open Space), a community arts organisation based in Clydebank, to develop, in partnership with local residents, all artworks for the site. At this stage we envisage that we will be able to create a number of artworks including a variety of mediums such as mosaic, glass and pebbles to create a timeline that runs through the site and tracking the local history, informal play zones that will encourage free play and imagination, cobble mosaics within the existing road to create rumble strips that discourage anti-social behaviour and community zones with play markings that will encourage story-telling, play and dance.

The project is being promoted by series of newsletters that keep local residents informed about the process and how it will affect them; arrangements have been made for all properties for bin collection and access to the site.

A part of the project is a creation of a number of jobs for local young people that are currently unemployed. The squad will undertake soft and hard landscape works on the site for 6 months. Each trainee will also receive employability support to move into further employment after the completion of the contract and accredited personal development training as well as other relevant certificated training.

The design of the new backcourt area aims to put the focus of the site back into community use – by making it a more open space that will encourage the residents to use the space. There will be designated bin areas for bin, informal play areas – that encourage children to use their imagination when they play, improved path network, artworks, seating areas, new tree and shrub planting and new fencing.

The first elements of work will be the site clearance, which will include removal of all play equipment, seats, paving and planting. The main access road will remain throughout the works. This will be followed by the removal of the existing wooden fencing that divides the backcourts from the communal area. The works are anticipated to finish by December 2013.

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