On a typically rainy day, pupils from Croftfoot Primary School were stars of the show, as they highlighted to a captive audience, their appreciation of brand new outdoor play space and equipment - made possible through a Glasgow City Region City Deal project to reduce flood risk and enhance greenspace in the Kings Park area.
The pupils are now proud custodians of a brand new MUGA pitch, as well as an outdoor amphitheatre - a dramatic feature which combines sustainable drainage with flexible play space. In front of invited guests including council Leader Cllr Susan Aitken and project contractors; the pupils sang, read out poetry and emphasised personally how much they are enjoying their new facilities.
Glasgow City Region City Deal (funded by both the UK and Scottish Governments) is funding the project through the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP), which is working with partners to deliver a programme of schemes to 'Sustainably Drain Glasgow' - targeting areas across the city where rainfall adversely impacts communities.
The works taking place in the Croftfoot, Kings Park, Overwood Drive and Aikenhead Road areas will include installation of improved drainage infrastructure, construction of rain garden features and improvements to public spaces.
As well as the provision of the fantastic play and learning equipment for the school; contractor RJ McLeod and project supervisor/design consultant AECOM will be working to create enhanced amenity space at Kings Park and former golf course, by bringing back to the surface sections of the Spittal Burn which are currently hidden (culverted) underground. A new woodland walkway path network will be created and a SuDS basin installed - a feature that helps to manage rainfall. There will also be tree planting on the former golf course site to compensate for those removed within Kings Park to accommodate the sustainable drainage infrastructure.
Community benefits delivered so far in the area include provision of new gardening equipment for the Friends of Kings Park community group and participation in two careers events at St Paul's High School, with future plans to provide STEM support to local schools and the opportunity for secondary school pupils to undertake work experience roles.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet said, "It's been an absolute pleasure to visit Croftfoot Primary School and see first-hand what this wonderful new play equipment means to the pupils, parents and staff. The fact that these fantastic new facilities will also help reduce the risk of flooding in the community is really ingenious - and local people are also going to see real day-to-day improvements, with more trees planted and new pathways created that will make walking and cycling much easier."
Headteacher of Croftfoot Primary School Martine Leitch said: "The children are really proud of the new play areas they have. We feel the new facilities have given us fantastic outdoor areas now to enhance learning."
Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: "City Region Deals are focused on delivering lasting benefits for individuals, communities and businesses and since 2014 we have committed £1.8 billion through these deals to bring change across Scotland. These new facilities at Croftfoot Primary School will not only improve drainage in the area, they will enhance greenspace and provide the pupils with excellent new facilities to enjoy."
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "This new amphitheatre provides a brilliant setting for Glasgow's stars of the future to play, learn and share their talents in a unique environment. This is also a great example of how the Glasgow City Region Deal is using innovative solutions to make our communities even better places to visit, live and do business. The UK Government is investing more than £1.4 billion in City Region and Growth Deals across Scotland. This programme is creating thousands of jobs and opportunities and we will continue to work with the Scottish Government to make sure these reach every part of Scotland."
Allan Donnelly, Site Agent at RJ McLeod said: "RJ McLeod are delighted to have been the Contractor chosen to be part of the team to construct the works at SE Glasgow SWMP. We are delighted to be doing our part in reducing flooding risk and improving water quality in the southside of Glasgow. As a local Scottish civil engineering firm, we are grateful for the continuing level of support we have received from the community which is proving vital in the successful construction of the project"
Andrew Lindsay, Technical Director, Infrastructure North, at AECOM said: "Working closely with Glasgow City Council, AECOM delivered a programme of schemes to 'sustainably drain Glasgow'. By integrating a variety of drainage features into the urban areas as well as parts of the city where rainfall adversely impacts communities, AECOM has helped manage surface water flooding in South East Glasgow. Not only does this scheme aim to deliver wider benefits to local communities through the creation of amenity space and improved ecology but also provide daylighting culverted watercourses and retrofitted SuDS. As part of the project, retrofitted SuDS were placed into schools to remove water flows from the combined sewer within the Glasgow City Council estate. This also included an external amphitheatre as an outdoor learning space for the pupils which is also used for emergency stormwater storage, a sports pitch with surface water attenuation below and the provision of SuDS treatment features. This was a great opportunity for AECOM to engage with local students to create a fun learning experience whilst ensuring they understood the benefits of this scheme and the positive impact this will have in their community."
The works in the area will continue until later this year.