Horses set for Glasgow park under project to revamp rundown stables

The project - at Pollok Country Park - will be mostly funded by the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund.

Horses set for Glasgow park under project to revamp rundown stables iStock

A project to redevelop rundown stables and return Clydesdale horses to Glasgow’s largest park is set to move forward with a £13m investment from the UK Government.

There are plans to turn the ‘at risk’ stables and sawmill within Pollok Country Park into a net-zero carbon ‘living’ heritage centre and visitor attraction.

They include a hydro-electric turbine at the sawmill and working stables offering a “hands-on experience” for families.

Glasgow councillors will be asked to accept £13m from the UK Government, provided through the Levelling Up Fund, when they meet on Thursday morning.

The council also intends to put £1.5m towards the project — but that money will need to be agreed when Glasgow sets its budget for 2022/23 next month.

In a report, cllr Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm, said: “The Pollok Country Park stables and courtyard project will revitalise the dilapidated A-listed stables, old courtyard and sawmill.

“It will deliver a heritage attraction that enhances the unique characteristics of the country park, fosters civic pride, improves awareness of renewable energy generation and the requirement to reduce carbon emissions, and will bring economic benefits to the area.”

The council’s ambition is to create an attraction based around the horses and the development of traditional power generation into modern renewable technologies.

As well as the hydro-electric turbine, there will be a water-source heat pump and solar panel alongside a battery energy storage system. These installations are intended to demonstrate an “exemplary pathway” to carbon neutrality by 2030.

Displays could explain renewable energy generation and the power of digital technology in supporting a “sustainable energy future”.

Exhibitions telling the story of the Clydesdale horses and the breed’s role in Glasgow’s growth and experiences for families, such as horse rides and “equine facilitated learning/therapies”, could also be included in the project.

In the first phase of the project, sections of the building will be dismantled, retaining “as much of the existing fabric for restoration as possible”.

The report, to the city administration committee, adds the “remaining sections will be stabilised to arrest further deterioration”.

Phase two will see the main structure reconstructed and, in the final stage, a multi-purpose courtyard, along with catering, events and community spaces, will be created.

Under the criteria for the Levelling Up Fund, successful bidders are expected to contribute funding towards the projects, with £1.5m to be set aside in Glasgow’s upcoming budget.

A second round of the UK Government fund is expected to get under way in spring this year while the timescale for a third round is currently unknown.

By local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands

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