Pinkston Paddlesports, in the Pinkston Basin opposite the former
Diageo plant at Port Dundas, is a key project within the
Glasgow Canal Regeneration Project (GCRP).
Led by partners Glasgow City Council, British Waterways Scotland
and ISIS Regeneration, the GCRP is a long-term strategy to
regenerate the Forth & Clyde Canal in North Glasgow, between
Port Dundas and Maryhill, through sustainable economic development
and projects stimulating healthy active living, culture and
Pinkston Paddlesports will, it is hoped, attract 25,000 users a
year once built and become a centre for sporting excellence for
canoeing. It will also be an exciting, inclusive and year round hub
for the local communities on the canal in North Glasgow.
The centre is being driven by the GCRP partners (Glasgow City
Council, British Waterways Scotland and ISIS) alongside The
Waterways Trust Scotland and an eager group of paddlesports
enthusiasts who have formed a dedicated charitable company, Glasgow
Watersports, to fundraise for the centre and then manage and
develop Pinkston Paddlesports once it is open.
The artificial whitewater course for Pinkston Paddlesports was
designed by Andy Laird of Engineering Paddler Designs (EPD). Andy,
whose grandfather once worked at the former Pinkston Power Station
which once occupied the site, also designed the whitewater course
for the 2012 London Olympics and the Tees Barrage whitewater
The innovative scheme for Pinkston Paddlesports, officially
named 'The Glasgow Design', has already attracted
international interest and is currently being exported to
Pinkston Paddlesports will comprise an intermediate standard
whitewater course (the canoe equivalent of an artificial ski
slope), with a playwave/freestyle feature and facilities for
slalom; two permanent and two temporary canoe polo pitches and a
five metre deep diving tank.
With a clean water basin it will also be very attractive for
triathlon training and will be able to host urban multi-activity
events such as swim or canoe then run or cycle.
The team behind Pinkston Paddlesports believe that, over time,
it will become a recognised training resource for elite athletes, a
hotbed for new talent and a venue for national and regional
A number of groups, including the Royal Life Saving Society, are
eager to promote water safety and life saving skills using the new
amenity, which is a clean water pool.
In addition, it is also hoped that the Pinkston Paddlesports
will be used for swift water rescue training by Scotland's eight
Fire and Rescue Services and for police diver training.
The organisers also aim to engage 350 new paddlers each year,
predominantly local youngsters under 25 years, through canoe taster
sessions and school visits.
The innovative Pinkston Paddlesports structure will centre on
former shipping containers converted into low cost storage
facilities for local clubs and organisations to rent out or
purchase as a permanent home.
Pinkston Paddlesports will also feature a boathouse with
changing facilities; a drying room; toilets and showers; an
administration office; a kitchen; and coach education room/
classroom for hosting water safety and coach education courses; and
The name and design of the Pinkston Paddlesports centre hints at
the history of the location. Pinkston Power Station, which once
stood on the site, featured a tall cooling tower and powered the
Glasgow Tram system before it was demolished in the 1960s. Before
the Pinkston Power Station, there was Pinkston Road and, before
that, Pinkston Farm sat beside the railway.
Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Development and
Regeneration at Glasgow City Council, said:
"This is great news that this project has been shortlisted for
lottery funding and we hope it will be the first of many successful
bids for the canal partnership.
"Our canal corridor, after the River Clyde, is Glasgow's other
waterfront and its regeneration is a very important project for our
"We have already seen a great amount of investment, both private
and public, along the canal corridor, but this centre will utilise
the canal itself. We hope the new centre will help to bring great
opportunities for sport and recreation both for the local community
in north Glasgow, and for paddlesports enthusiasts from far and
wide. This will be of particular interest to Glasgow's young
people, and will be a great catalyst for change.
"The canal partnership is already developing a sports theme for
the canal to provide further opportunities."
Richard Millar, Waterway Development Manager, British
Waterways Scotland, says:
"Now that we have planning permission, it is really exciting to
begin the fundraising drive for what will be a major new sporting
amenity for Glasgow and the country as a whole, and we are
delighted to be short-listed in the People's Postcode Lottery Dream
"For the first time, Scotland will have a whitewater course of
"The location, so close to the city centre, is ideal and the
facilities will, we believe, be of the level and flexibility
required to attract athletes at the top of their profession through
to beginners 'dipping their toe in the water'.
"Pinkston Paddlesports will not only become nationally important
but will also be a much needed resource for the communities of
North Glasgow which have traditionally been deprived of such
amenities. The new vibrant, exciting and inclusive waterspace
environment will connect North Glasgow with the city centre and
encourage an active, healthy lifestyle amongst the under 25 age
Andy Watt, Chair of Glasgow Watersports,
"Pinkston Paddlesports is a hugely exciting prospect for
everyone involved in the sport, at a UK and Scottish level. It will
be a fertile training ground for Scottish athletes who
currently have to live in Nottingham because of the lack of
facilities in their home country.
"More than anything, it will be a meaningful and much needed
resource for the communities of North Glasgow. Indeed, much of our
focus will be to ensure that Pinkston Paddlesports becomes a
thriving community hub, bringing together local people
within North Glasgow's communities and attracting young people,
particularly those who aren't already active,
providing opportunities for them to get out onto the water,
enjoying and learning about paddling and outdoor adventure.
"We have already begun to work with local communities,
encouraging their involvement in the new centre, by training
community leaders as instructors.
"With so many different activities available, there will be much
to introduce local youth but also the wider public to the joys of
canoeing and rafting the wild waters. Altogether, Pinkston
Paddlesports will be a truly dynamic and exciting venture for
Glasgow and Scotland as a whole."
Canoeist David Florence, Olympic Silver Medallist in
Bejing, 2008, and World Cup Champion, 2009, says:
"It is great to see a canoeing facility being built in Scotland
as it can only be a good thing for the development of the
'A Corridor of Sport'
In the longer term, it is hoped that Pinkston Paddlesports will
be the first step in developing a 'corridor of sport' along the
Glasgow branch of the Forth & Clyde Canal. Future aspirations
include 'Urban Etive', an artificial whitewater course at Maryhill
Locks; canoe trails; and a North Glasgow Circular Path.
Other projects to date in the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Project
include the restoration of Maryhill Locks, sustainable new housing
at Maryhill and the creation of a thriving cultural neighbourhood
by Speirs Wharf, which is now home to a number of creative
institutions including Scottish Opera and the Royal Conservatoire
of Scotland and, soon, Glasgow Sculpture Studios.
For more information on the Forth & Clyde Canal or other
Scottish canals, visit www.scottishcanals.co.uk
For more information on the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Project,
For interviews or
please contact Joanna
Harrison, mobile 07884 187404