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February 24, 2016

Make Your Mark Pollockshields

Five years ago the Scottish Government began to pilot charrettes – a process of intensive planning in which designers and planners work with local people on a vision for the area. To date these have been mostly top down, quite expensive and often unclear (from a community perspective) what the benefits are. But someone in Scottish Government clearly likes them because the programme is still on the go. But this year with a difference. Communities can run the charrette themselves. The first of this new style charrette is happening this week in Pollockshields.  


Gillian Loney, The Extra

The future of Pollokshields is in the hands of its community, thanks to a project never before seen in Glasgow.

Pollokshields Community Council is launching a charrette — a week of intense consultation on any future plans for East Pollokshields.

Charrettes are commonly run by local authorities but, in a first for the city, the community council has raised the funds to make it happen, with a matching contribution from the Scottish Government.

Make Your Mark has endorsement from Glasgow City Council — and community council chair Bill Fraser hopes that it will help shape the neighbourhood in years to come.

He told The Extra: “It’s taken 18 months to get here, and started when we approached Glasgow City Council to complete a local plan for the area — which they said they couldn’t do until the end of the decade.

“What’s exciting is that we’re managing it. We’ll then present the findings to the city council, from a community point of view.

“We want to address social and economic problems and suggest ways forward — maybe a community anchor organisation. It’s about saying that we won’t sit back and let things happen, but take an active role instead.”

Make Your Mark runs February 21-27, although the team have an HQ at 553 Shields Road until the end of March, available to local groups as a meeting place.

Marco Biagi, minister for community empowerment, commented: “The Scottish Government is delighted to support the East Pollokshields Make Your Mark charrette, one of 17 that we are investing in.

“The East Pollokshields charrette is using the new Place Standard tool, which allows people to assess the physical and social qualities of their place, and think about improvements.

“Harnessing the knowlege and energy of communities, through approaches like charrettes and the Place Standard, can be transformational.”

Findings will be presented to the public on March 20, with a Q&A session including a panel of elected representatives.