Royston Road Project
Royston Road Project Ltd was established in 1998. Galvanised by the threat to the future of an important local landmark, the Townhead Spire, the company formed quickly and embarked on its first major project: the design and construction of 2 new public spaces: one with the "saved" Townhead spire as its focus; the other with the Molendinar waterfall and burn as its main feature. Facilitated by Fablevision, working in partnership with internationally acclaimed artists, architects, designers and The Wise Group, the project has inspired the whole community to engage in a process of arts led community regeneration.
Royston Road Project is spearheaded by local people who, for many years, been subjected to cutbacks, lack of community/arts/youth workers etc. and loss of self-esteem. Local people were crying out for arts development and the catalyst for galvanising local action was the demolition of the Townhead Church and threat to the spire. With Bulldozers on site and the body of the church in ruins, sculpture George Wylie joined the protesters in the burning of a "fiery cross"
This artistic intervention proved to be the catalyst for the community to set up, and now manage, the Royston Road Project with the aim of building two pocket parks - new public spaces at either end of a traditionally factionalised community which would unite the residents, encourage pride and provide training and employment opportunities.
It was important that as wide a cross section of the community as possible be engaged so that (particularly the most marginalised groups and individuals) are encouraged to own the new spaces and take pride in their development. and that different communities come together. The local people therefore designed the project to work,
- in two areas: Roystonhill round the spire and Molendinar, round the waterfall.
- In two stages: the first, a programme of participatory arts workshops (performing arts and design workshops leading to the designs for the 2 parks) the second, the building of the parks themselves and related participatory arts activities centered around celebrating their completion.
Since 1997 when the spire was saved, Royston Road Project (under the direction of Fablevision) has raised £1.5million pounds of Scottish Arts Council, Lottery Community Fund, Local Authority, European Regional Development and Trust fund money to create, manage and deliver their project. Hundreds of local people have been involved and scores of community groups and individuals have worked with artists (commissioned by the centre), architects and arts led community development professionals.
While arts led, the project has brought together education, social work, housing associations, the City Council (Land Services, Regeneration Unit, Culture and Leisure Services) churches, the police, community councils, youth groups, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, the spire and park project and the Rosemount Trust as well as an extensive Wise Group training for work programme and is an excellent example of using "joined up thinking" to tackle social problems.N.B
Royston Road Project has an Exhibition in the Lighthouse (running until the 8th September 2002).
Molendinar Park was the recipient of a Scottish Design Award in 2002