Glasgow's programme to give community and grassroots organisations more control over council-owned venues and assets has attracted almost 600 expressions of interest since its launch two years ago, a new report shows.
People Make Glasgow Communities (PMGC) gives groups the opportunity to meet the needs in their neighbourhoods through the running of sports, education and community venues through to parkland and open spaces.
Organisations involved in activities from sports to growing food and transforming greenspace, through to providing childcare and supporting financial and personal wellbeing, have all explored what PMGC can do for them and their communities.
Launched in February 2021, there have been 585 expressions of interest submitted since then. Interest has remained high since PMGC's launch.
At present, 14 organisations have successfully progressed into the Development Phase of process, with occupation agreements finalised prior to commencing management of venue. Eight of these are now successfully operating venues, with the remaining six working with council officers on funding applications and legal agreements.
Notable examples of the success of PMGC include Park Villa at Glasgow Club Drumoyne, South Seeds at The Old Queen's Park Changing Rooms, St Paul's Youth Project at Molendinar Community Centre, and Newlands Park Tennis Courts.
Almost two-thirds of enquiries on the PMGC programme relate to specific venues, with the remainder focusing on assets in particular areas of Glasgow.
A further 30 organisations are now in the Engagement Phase of the process, where they are undertaking community consultations on their proposals and are working on a detailed application with business plan. An additional 30 organisations are currently working with officers on their initial proposals for a specific venue.
Councillor Ruairi Kelly, Convener for Neighbourhoods Services and Assets at Glasgow City Council, said: "People Make Glasgow Communities is all about transferring power and control to our communities and changing places and people's lives for the better. We've seen how successful community empowerment has been in rural Scotland and it's now taking hold in our biggest city.
"Many of those who have either already had buildings or land transferred, or are in the process of doing so, have deep roots in their communities. And this partnership has allowed several of these organisations to attract new sources of funding and develop more capacity and essential skills.
"There is still much work to do and lessons to be learned. And of course, we're mindful of the challenges which can make asset management by local organisations difficult. However, the evidence from PMGC so far is that Glasgow's communities really want to make the most of local assets."
Key drivers for the PMGC programme include:
• The ambition to maximise the opportunities for community empowerment, collaboration and engagement.
• Ensuring a fair, open and transparent process is in place with a clear governance structure and decision-making process.
• Delivery of the council's renewal programme which seeks to support Glasgow's recovery from the pandemic and, in the longer-term, to think differently and to review what services are provided; how they are best delivered, and the operating models used across the organisation, and across the city, to deliver best value and meet stakeholder expectations in a way that is better aligned to need.
• Ensuring alignment of the services delivered by the Council Family to the council's Strategic Plan, the Glasgow Community Plan, the Property and Land Strategy, Local Outcome Improvement Plan and associated Locality Plans.
• Recognition of the need to meet continuing financial challenges and deliver efficiencies across the Council Family.
Associated benefits for organisations participating in the programme include: training on fundraising; staff and financial management; governance and climate-friendly practice; assistance on financial and business plans; and help in designing and undertaking community consultations.
Information on the PMGC programme - and the opportunity to submit expressions of interest - is available at: www.glasgow.gov.uk/communities.