Clydesdale horses will return to their home in a Glasgow park after an historic stables block is to be transformed into a visitor attraction thanks to the UK Government.
The Pollok Country Park Stables and Sawmill in Pollok Country Park will become a heritage centre which will celebrate the famous Clydesdale horses that will once again become a feature in the park.
The redevelopment of the stables and courtyard will mean the horses, four of which had to be moved to other stables, outside the city, will be able to return.
This week Scotland Office Minister Iain Stewart visited the project in Glasgow which is being regenerated thanks to more than £13 million from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The cash, announced at the Spending Review last October, will transform the dilapidated A-listed building into a world-class heritage centre celebrating the Clydesdale horses which were once a big attraction at the park. The courtyard’s disrepair has meant the horses have had to be stabled elsewhere, but improvements will see them brought back.
The development will also house a café, flexible event spaces for community groups and schools and provide training and employment opportunities for local people. On-site traditional power generation combined with other renewable technologies will establish the Stables and Sawmill as a net zero site.
Minister Stewart’s visit comes a week after the UK government launched the Levelling Up White Paper, which sets out an ambitious blueprint to improve lives and expand opportunities across the whole of the United Kingdom.
The UK Government is funding projects right across the UK. Eight large-scale projects in Scotland, including the Pollok Stables, are already benefiting from the Levelling Up Fund alone, with more investment to come. All will bring benefits right to the heart of communities that will boost economic growth, encourage innovation, create high-quality jobs and celebrate our rich culture.
Minister Stewart said:
In Scotland we are investing £1.7billion to Level Up communities so that projects like this can flourish. It will see the stables restored to their former glory and futureproof the site while bringing important economic and educational benefits.
Levelling Up is all about improving lives in every part of the UK. It’s an ambitious vision that will invest right at the heart of towns and cities, unlocking private investment along the way to make our high streets great again, ensure equal opportunities for all, improve job and training prospects and celebrate our rich culture.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:
Following on from the refurbishment of the Burrell Collection, the restoration of the Pollok Country Park stables and sawmill continues the renaissance of one of Glasgow’s finest green spaces.
The remarkable A-listed Stables and Old Courtyard will not only create a tremendous standalone attraction for Glaswegians and our visitors – but will be yet another venue showcasing the cultural and heritage treasures to be found in this park.
The innovative approach taken by this project will secure real economic, environmental and social benefits for the city.
Last year the UK Government announced more than £191 million investment for projects in Scotland supported by its Levelling Up Fund, Community Renewal Fund and Community Ownership Fund.
The Stables and Sawmill plan is one of dozens of projects across Scotland from Inverness to Edinburgh to benefit from the funds which will regenerate town centres and high streets, upgrade local transport and invest in culture.
Glasgow’s Burrell Collection, right next to the Sawmill project in Pollok Park, benefited from £3m to aid its refurbishment. The city got a further boost when it was announced in last week’s Levelling Up White Paper that there will be a share of £100m to mould Glasgow into a new Silicon Valley-style ‘Innovation Accelerator’, creating jobs, boosting the economy and keeping Scotland and the forefront of global science and research.
Minister Stewart will also visit Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities today to discuss plans announced in last week’s White Paper for Glasgow to be one of three ‘Innovation Accelerators’ in the UK, pulling in a share of £100m for research, science and technology.
On a tour of the University of Glasgow’s soon to be opened Advanced Research Centre (ARC), the minister will find out about work on quantum technology and life sciences as well as a bid to see a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) plant built in North Ayrshire, creating jobs and developing renewable energy technology. The proposal is one of five currently shortlisted by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) – which carries out fusion energy research on behalf of the UK government.
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