Viewpark Conservation Group
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Projects

Projects

The principal project of the Viewpark Conservation Group is thwe acuistition, on behalf of the community, of the Douglas Support Estate.

The overall goal is to improve the quality of life for the people of Viewpark and neighbouring areas, through an enhanced natural environment.

Protect and presere the North Calder Water river valley and floodplain at Bankhead Farm
Prevent further development in Grove Wood to protect the flood plain and maintain access to the Roman Bridge
Maintain the Core Path network and improve the network of paths through the Douglas Support Estate

What we hope to achieve
We know that local people feel strongly about pursuing community ownership of ‘Our Glen’. During an extensive community consultation process, we asked local residents what difference this project would make to the community to ensure that our planned outcomes address locally defined needs. From the information gathered, we know that community ownership will boost community confidence.

More families will get and about doing things together. In general, more children and young people would spend time outdoors, taking them ‘back to basics’. We have involved young people in the design and development of this project and we will continue to ensure that they have a voice with regards to their views on the ongoing work of the Project. More local people will have access to opportunities to participate in activities that are free or low cost.

Showcasing ‘Our Glen’ will bring visitors who may/will pay for activities which will mean a subsidy for local people. Involving local skilled volunteers and trades where possible in the development of the Glen will encourage local buy in and a sense of ownership and achievement. Involving the community will generate more of a sense of ownership and belonging. This is reflected particularly well in the comments received during the consultation.

We hope through this Project to dispel feelings that the community has been left behind compared with other communities in terms of services and investment. We understand that the levels of deprivation in Viewpark including Tannochside and Birkenshaw will lead our business plan to deliver services and activities that will impact on residents in these areas and who face different challenges, particularly in terms of equality of opportunities through poverty and poor education levels and health and wellbeing.

Expected outcomes
With the land in Community Ownership, the estate will remain as the ‘green lung’ of the community and remove the threat of industrial expansion with the associated loss of amenity space , wildlife and natural habitats, the loss of historical space and one of the few wild spaces in the locality. The land will be managed to be ecologically and environmentally beneficial to the community for the perpetual use of the inhabitants and providing continuation of investment in health and wellbeing education and inclusion of all groups within the community. We will increase opportunities for employment, volunteering and training.

The wider community survey has shown a real local commitment and appetite to ensure that this project is a success after many years of working to achieve this outcome. There was a very good level of engagement and a high return on the survey. Local people were overwhelmingly in favour of community ownership People, including young people will feel more engaged with their local community. The community will have a sense of ownership and pride in the Glen. Our community will be better connected and positively represented at local government level.. We are building our board structure to reflect the demography of our community and this will include user group representation. We will build on the existing input from young people by creating a youth advisory group.

We are an experienced and appropriately skilled community led organisation. Following a feasibility study, we have commissioned a business plan and full community consultation. This includes projected income from activities. We anticipate that this projected income stream would meet ongoing costs year on year and be 86% sustainable by year 5.