Transforming a wasteland
Cuningar Loop Urban Woodland Park
CategoryAccess to greens spaces
Proof of concept
Transformation of Cuningar Loop into a thriving urban park
This award was received for the transformation of Cuningar Loop, a previously abandoned wasteland, into a thriving urban woodland park connecting the communities of Rutherglen, Dalmarnock and Parkhead in South Lanarkshire and Glasgow’s East End.
- The project has transformed 15 hectares of derelict, unused land, the size of 15 large football pitches, into an attractive community greenspace.
- Since opening the park has been visited by more than 175,000 visitors and has surpassed its initial target of 100,000 visitors by 2021.
- Features Scotland’s first outdoor bouldering park
- The facility is now regarded as an active destination that is used by local communities and visitors.
Shifting perceptions of the area
How/why did the project benefit the public?
This £5.7 million project has resulted in the development of a safe public space, which has helped to improve public health and wellbeing in an area where life expectancy is seven years below the UK average.
The project has given local communities much needed access to a high-quality green space that offers a diverse range of recreational opportunities, such as an extensive path network, Scotland’s first outdoor bouldering park, a bike skills area and adventure play facilities.
It has also been an opportunity to provide training and work experience to local residents. This has included the development of work placements, local school and university projects and apprenticeship employment opportunities.
The Loop has become a destination for visitors from elsewhere who are now attracted to an area of the city they may not have previously sought to visit, positively contributing to the local economy.
What were local planners looking to achieve on the project?
- To create a safe and inspiring public space along the River Clyde to help improve public health and wellbeing in the surrounding area.
- To respect and improve on the existing natural environment within the area.
- To help provide modern facilities that encourage public use of the park and ensure its long-term success.
- To create a visitor destination in an area where such locations are few and far between.
How were local planners essential to the project's success
Planners played a key role from the outset in the successful delivery of this project. From managing the relationship between key stakeholders such as Forestry Commission Scotland, Clyde Gateway and the local council, to adopting a partnership-based approach to the project with planning as the focal point.
Planners also played a key role in engaging with local communities at the pre-application stage, the planning application stage and also during the development phase. The valuable feedback received ensured that the park contained facilities relevant and useful to its visitors and the local community. The approach also helped residents see the development in a positive manner and feel that their views had been taken into account as part of the design and development of the project.