Challenges and Constraints

Since its heyday, the communities along the Glasgow Canal have experienced significant decline and now face some of the most significant social and economic challenges in Western Europe. For example, according to recent surveys, somewhere between 61-82% of those that live close to the canal live in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland.

And the area also suffers from some serious physical challenges too. Here are just some;

  • High voltage overhead electricity lines and pylons run alongside the canal causing a health and visual blight and limiting opportunities for redevelopment;
  • The collapse of heavy industry and demolition of failing housing estates has left a legacy of acres of vacant and derelict land, much of which is badly contaminated;
  • Poor visibility of the canal and shortage of opportunities for access and crossing the water;
  • And a general lack of awareness among the people of Glasgow that the canal exists!

It's our job to try and address these challenges by working with others to help breathe some new life into the canal, to benefit not only local people but the rest of Glasgow too. We must however be honest about the scale of these challenges, and the time it will take to bring about change. But with the canal now prioritised by the Glasgow Economic Forum, (a collaboration led by Glasgow City Council and Scottish Enterprise), in its 'Action Plan to 2013' as one of three areas in the City where a Step Change must occur, the support is in place to help us deliver the vision.

Overcoming the challenges to create a vibrant place to live, work and play.

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