Keepmoat Circus (2020)

new development september 2020

The current development project is on a vast scale and includes the construction of a new link to Glasgow city centre (15 minutes’ walk away) in the form of a bridge over the M8, the building of over 1000 new homes (a proportion of which will be council, or social, housing), as well as a community campus and school, student accommodation, retail and green spaces. This work has been overseen by Glasgow City Council, and Glasgow Housing Association, and delivered by a host of different contractors. This has been a massive transformative event although even then the past intrudes into this renewed landscape – the cemetery, road layouts, the reborn stone circle – to an extent gives a sense of continuity. Barnabas Calder tried to imagine how this might have impacted on the slumped and bird-shit splattered statue of Charles Tennant, a long-term resident of Necropolis, buried in 1838. “…he would have seen the giant industrial structures of Glasgow peak and disappear, followed by a bloom of high-rise social housing, which in its turn has largely disappeared in a matter of years…” (in Leslie’s Disappearing Glasgow (2016)). There is a sense of churn here, a skyline radically changing. Perhaps the most radical change here is in energy: from the dirty power of Pinkston to green spaces, ‘smart drainage systems’, nature corridors, solar panels. It is a development fit for COP26 but its long-term sustainability in all sorts of ways remains to be seen.