Eight community artwork projects have been unveiled by Scottish Canals to bring life to the public space around the new Stockingfield Bridge in North Glasgow.
The £13.7 million active travel bridge over the Forth & Clyde Canal will link the communities of Maryhill, Gilshochill and Ruchill in the city for the first time since the waterway opened in 1790.
The project, delivered by Scottish Canals with funding from Sustrans, and the Glasgow City Council Vacant Derelict Land Fund, will also deliver a new public recreational space on a currently vacant site.
The eight projects that will fill the site all have a local connection and have an element of community input. They range from pieces that showcase the area’s industrial past, to community designed ceramic mosaics, to metalwork celebrating the role of disabled people in the community with former houseboat resident Anouska Haviden will be working with the community to tell local stories on the granite lock stones.
Dr Sarah Thomas, from locally based Boom Community Arts, who is delivering a recycling heritage project that reflects the area’s iron forging past said:
“This space has immense potential to deliver artwork that can really involve the people who live here today while acknowledging those who lived and worked here in the past. Our project will use an element of recycling to create paving on the site that will reflect this.”
Stockingfield Bridge will make it easier for the three communities to get around locally in a sustainable way and it also completes a missing link in the National Cycle Network Route 754, which offers a traffic-free route between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“Getting local people involved in this project was a key aim for us; the bridge is a critical part of the national cycle network but has also been born from local enthusiasm growing over the last 10 years to reconnect their local communities. The bridge is a massive investment in north Glasgow and hopefully symbolizes the local peoples ambition to celebrate their area through quality design and art.
Artwork is great way of promoting ownership of the project locally and I’m delighted that there has been so much interest and enthusiasm for what we are trying to achieve here.
The art designs and and ideas that have come forward will really raise this project to a whole new level, making this bridge much more than a piece of infrastructure, it will become a destination in its own right.” - Scottish Canals Chief Operating Officer, Richard Millar
The bridge itself will be of a curved design with a viewing platform. The main foundation pile will be on the east bank at Ruchill sweeping west to Gilshochill and south to Maryhill.
The increased access and the design of the bridge structure with an integrated observation deck and landscaping on this currently underused site will encourage greater use of the canal. The new link will open in summer 2022.