Sighthill regeneration takes leap forward

Glasgow City Council has signed an agreement with Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and Keepmoat Homes to deliver more than 800 new homes at the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) in the city. Keepmoat will work with independent consultancy LDA Design to bring forward the new development.

LDA Design’s collaboration with Keepmoat continues its involvement on the scheme, which began with a transformational, landscape-led masterplan. Commenting on the signing, LDA Design Director Kirstin Taylor said: “This is a key moment in the history of Sighthill. We are delighted to have the opportunity to further progress the plans to create a welcoming place to call home that is well connected to the rest of the city.”

A short walk from George Square, Glasgow’s main civic space, Sighthill’s iconic 10 high-rise blocks once loomed large over the city, providing homes for thousands of people. The towers have now gone, but a strong community remains.

The £250million Sighthill TRA is one of eight regeneration programmes across the city, and the first to benefit from the Glasgow City Region City Deal – a £1bn government investment programme. It is the biggest regeneration scheme of its type in the UK outside of London. More than 140 new GHA homes were delivered in 2015, and this next phase will breathe new life into the area.

The development will include 198 mid-market rental homes, built by GHA, as well as retail and commercial units. When complete, the regeneration will deliver almost 1,000 new high-quality homes for sale and rent; a new community school campus; a new footbridge across the M8 motorway, creating a ‘street in the sky’ to connect Sighthill to the neighbouring city centre; and a new road bridge across the railway to link Sighthill and Port Dundas.

The scheme will create places aimed at fostering community interaction, both at a wider neighbourhood level and at an intimate street scale. There will be opportunities for temporary meanwhile uses that can be adopted by the existing community throughout the phased construction.

LDA Design has been working with Glasgow City Council on ‘advanced infrastructure’ for the site, which will see a network of active travel routes, open public spaces, allotments and more than 20ha of new parkland delivered in advance of the Keepmoat development.

The parkland, with its lochans, burns and wetlands, will provide better flood protection and improve local biodiversity. It forms part of an advanced urban drainage and water management scheme. Planting will include species associated with post-industrial pioneer landscapes, reflecting the site’s industrial heritage. Canal-side terraces will offer lovely places to sit and enjoy a coffee.

Good connectivity is key to the areas success. A pedestrian-focused boulevard with serve as a civic spine, connecting homes with new play spaces, plazas and transport links. The wider masterplan also includes a footbridge over the M8 motorway (late 2019) and a road bridge across the nearby rail link (late 2018). Pathways and cycle routes through the site will dramatically improve connectivity and safety. The transformed site will also feature a new community campus school, new retail and a community centre.

Explaining the vision behind LDA Design’s landscape-led approach, Kirstin went on to say: “This was once a very close knit community. In developing the masterplan, we wanted to create an accessible, social and safe place to live with a distinct identity that builds on this historic spirit of togetherness. As far as I am aware, it is the single largest landscape-led regeneration scheme in Scotland.”

The regeneration of Sighthill is being delivered by Transforming Communities: Glasgow, a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Housing Association and the Scottish Government, with additional funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

About Damian Holmes 3292 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at