Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Council will pick up another cost thanks to ‘Lasting Legacy’ of 2104 Commonwealth Games

I mentioned the collapse of the ‘Legacy Hub’, one of the wonderful ‘Lasting Legacy’ marvels foist brought to Glasgow courtesy of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (a reminder that the host city pays for this fun, NOT the organisers of the games).

I spotted an item on Glasgow City Counci’s web site, announcing that it would be picking this facility up from the Administgrators.

The council will pay a whole £1 for the ‘Hub’, the same amount it sold the developers the land for.

But those of us who know better also know the real cost of these things is not the structure, but the ‘Cost of ownership’, or the running costs (wages, services, stock etc), which the council now has to cough up. And since this place collapsed, we know it makes a loss, not a profit.

Glasgow city council today (07 February 2019) agreed to exercise its right of pre-emption over The Legacy Hub, in Dalmarnock, meaning that it can buy back the former council-owned land and Hub building from Administrators.

In 2014, the council and a number of other funders supporting a new community initiative, sold the land for the construction of the Hub to the People’s Development Trust (PDT) for a nominal sum of £1.

As the council was not selling the land for commercial value it created a right of pre-emption, effectively a right of first refusal in its favour to buy back the land, in the event of a future sale by PDT.

Following the PDT being placed into administration at the end of January, the Administrators, KPMG, acting on PDT’s behalf, have now offered the land and buildings back to the council for the same sum.

The council’s Contracts and Property Committee agreed that it should take the necessary steps to accept this offer and acquire the ownership of the Hub.

Looking to the future of the Hub, the committee also agreed that officers could enter into negotiations with KPMG to buy any equipment within the Hub including IT and catering equipment, and furniture items that would be needed by the council for the future running of the building.

Following completion of the sale, which may take a number of weeks due to the legal and due diligence process, the council will also take over landlord responsibilities for the tenants still operating from the Hub.

Work will now take place by council officers to investigate a range of options for the running and management of the building. They will also consider, with input from key stakeholders, including the community, how best it can serve the local area while ensuring the Hub has a sustainable economic model for the future.

Council agrees to buy The Legacy Hub in Dalmarnock

Given the place collapsed and ended up in administration, there’s an amusing little remark from Convenor for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm City Policy Committee and member of the Contracts and Property Committee, Councillor Greg Hepburn:

“The news of the PDT’s administration and subsequent impact on The Legacy Hub and the services it provided, including the nursery, was a blow to the local community.

“However, after repeated attempts to stabilise the governance and financial side of things it became clear that it simply could not continue operating the way it had been.

“Now that the council are planning to buy back the Hub we have a chance to start afresh for a well-run, ambitious and thriving community facility, giving the community what they need but also something that is sustainable for the future.

Best of luck with that.

Guess the council will also have to pick up the tab to get workers up there to remove People’s Development Trust from the façade.

Wonder just how fed up the locals are with the ongoing nonsense of the Games that started BEFORE 2014, as their community was taken apart?

Legacy Hub Night

Legacy Hub Night

12/02/2019 Posted by | council | , , | Leave a comment

Flagship 2014 Commonwealth Games ‘Legacy’ sinks

I make no apologies for having mocked the idea that the 2014 Commonwealth Games would leave any of the ‘Legacy’ so widely touted as parts of the east end of Glasgow were razed to make way for a mere two weeks of fun for some, and years of pain for others.

One of the casualties was Dalmarnock’s community centre, razed along with surrounding building to clear land for the dopey ‘Games’, the cleared land has lain derelict to this day, and I understand has only recently seen plans for a housing development make their appearance, five years later!

PROPOSAL For More New Homes In Dalmarnock

I never had a pic of the community centre – just the flattened ground after it was razed (and also the old people’s home that can be seen fenced off on the right, another Games Legacy gem, completed and left unoccupied for years due to yet more silliness).

Dalmarnock Community Hub Site

Dalmarnock Community Centre Site

For losing their community centre, locals were promised The Legacy Hub, developed as a flagship legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Legacy Hub Night

Legacy Hub Night

Foolishly, I’ve walked past this many times thinking “That went well”, even though it always looked deserted (which may be down to the time of day I pass).

I shouldn’t have been so naïve, should I?

This was closed without prior notice on Friday after going into administration.

The centre was created as part of a £40 million scheme funded by Big Lottery, the Scottish Government, Clyde Gateway, and Glasgow City Council.

Owned by the People’s Development Trust – which was created as part of the ongoing regeneration work in Glasgow’s East End, it provided childcare, community activities, a theatre and bistro cafe.

Hundreds call for Dalmarnock community hub to be saved after sudden closure

Sadly, as usual, Glasgow City Council is expected to cough up some ‘Magic Money’ from its bottomless pot, and take over the running of this failed Legacy promise.

“The community are devastated by this decision and request that the hub be taken over and run by Glasgow City Council as soon as possible and remain a community asset.”

While it finds £500 million for its recent equal pay settlement, £7.5 million for the Winter Gardens etc etc…

They should haul up those who promised all these silly ‘Legacies’ and brought the stupid ‘Games’ to Glasgow with their grand promises…

And hand them the bill!



27/01/2019 Posted by | council | , , | Leave a comment

Adelaide beats Glasgow in glasshouse restoration

Glasgow (and even Scotland) has a dismal record regarding the preservation and maintenance of the few historic glasshouses (or winter gardens) in its care.

Examples such as Springburn Winter Gardens have long lain in ruins, and although I can’t get there now, was sad to learn that the glasshouse in Ayr’s Bellisle Park had been closed in 2005, and I saw the sad sight of it boarded up, but thanks to local efforts had been restored and reopened in 2016.

Surely the worst case (since it was rescued but then dumped only a few years later) now has to be Tollcross Winter Gardens (not forgetting its once new Visitor Centre).

In summary, the Winter Garden glasshouse in Tollcross Park was last rescued and refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having then lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to be vandalised or rot at best. However, £1.7 million was raised to save it then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

But, having suffered storm damage during the winter of 2010/2011, it was simply closed and left to rot, with lack of cash being given as the reason.

While Glasgow City Council squandered more than £300 million paying to host the farcical 2014 Commonwealth Games, and spent freely on ‘upgrades’ for the Commonwealth Pool in the sports centre only a few metres from the stricken glasshouse, not a penny could be found to restore what would have been a better tourist attraction – since it would always be there, unlike the ten days or so of sporting madness of the dopey games that were ‘Here today, gone tomorrow’.

Since the hull of the clipper ship ‘City of Adelaide’ (aka The Carrick) went there, I get automated news updates, which include articles relating to Adelaide.

This story about what would appear to be the only such glasshouse in the southern hemisphere was just highlighted, and puts Adelaide ahead of Glasgow in this particular race.

Being a sole survivor of war is a burden few ask for, but when you fall under the weather and weigh 22 tonnes, you can be sure to draw attention.

The Palm House in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens is undergoing its second restoration in about 25 years, with a team of painters and builders treating it for salt damp and rust incursion.

Plants have been moved out and cracked glass panes are being replaced, as workers utilise a huge freestanding scaffolding structure that took a week to build inside and around the 1877 structure.

Originally built in Bremen, Germany in 1875, the Palm House was shipped to Adelaide and reassembled, although the glass panes were all broken by the time it arrived.

Following the devastation of subsequent wars in Europe, it remains the only known German-built glasshouse from the era and is Australia’s second oldest.

Andrew Carrick from the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium said there were similar examples of iron and glass botanical houses around the world, such as the Crystal Palace and the Kew Gardens palm house in London.

“They are the same style with the cast iron, and obviously at a much grander scale, but ours is probably the only one in the Southern Hemisphere,” he said.

It is also possibly the only surviving example of a prefabricated glasshouse, and was originally used for tropical plants until rust incursion in the early 1990s led the gardens to change its use to dry plants from the southern and western tips of Madagascar.

Palm House at Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens stands alone as example of German glasshouse design

Compare and contrast…

The Adelaide glasshouse scaffolding supporting… restoration.

Photo: The palm house was built in Adelaide during 1877 after prefabrication in Germany. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

Photo: The palm house was built in Adelaide during 1877 after prefabrication in Germany. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

The Tollcross Winter Gardens scaffolding supporting… what’s left.

Tollcross Winter Gardens ruined

Tollcross Winter Gardens scaffolding

31/08/2018 Posted by | Appeal, council, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lasting Legacy of shame following Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games

With the passing of 2017, another year has been lost, and another opportunity to embarrass and shame Glasgow City Council over the dereliction of Tollcross Winter Garden and Visitor Centre has been delivered.

(For what it’s worth, I DO NOT subscribe to any of the generalised mindless criticism of the council, this is a specific case.)

In summary, the Winter Garden glasshouse in Tollcross Park was last rescued and refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having then lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to be vandalised or rot at best. However, £1.7 million was raised to save it then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

But, having suffered storm damage during the winter of 2010/2011, it was simply closed and left to rot, with lack of cash being given as the reason.

Despite more than £300 million being squandered on the 2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow was lumbered with paying for the privilege of hosting, and who knows how much of that being spent on upgrading the adjacent Sports Centre and swimming pool in Tollcross park (allegedly great attractions that attract visitors and money), the Winter Garden and Visitor Centre was not considered to be a visitor attraction. NO MONEY could be spared from the ‘Games Pot’, nor has any been liberated from the so-called ‘Lasting Legacy’ the Games were supposed to bring to the area.

This earlier post summarised a number of reviews of the site

A visit to survey the structure at the end of 2017 showed that both the glasshouse and the fabric of the Visitor Centre were visibly displaying the signs of neglect.

Anti-council cynics would be quick to now suggest that we are approaching that time when the council issues the traditional demolition notice on the basis that the structure is unsafe, and it has to go to protect the public.

Or the vandals, who are now beginning to turn their attention to the once fairly unmolested glass walls and doors, will have a party and attempt to discover just how flammable some of the remaining structure might be.

And that is bound to be followed by that council demolition notice for the remaining ‘unsafe structure’ – and the removal of the problem.

Previously just about intact, the glazed Visitor Centre now has THREE glass panels boarded over, suggesting they have been smashed to kicked in.

The entrance doors have also been attacked.

The  suspended tent-style roof may have been a dramatic feature (and originally criticised as impractical), but without regular maintenance, it will eventually fail completely, and get beyond repair before that. Perhaps that early scepticism was well-founded.

The interior is wet, and puddles above and below suggest the roof is no loner weatherproof.

Plasterwork is breaking up and falling to the floor.

One set of doors to the glasshouse now appears to have gone.

The other side isn’t much better.

Perhaps obvious, but the glass is an easy target

Again, perhaps just stating the obvious, but damage to the glazing just grows over time.

Perhaps less obvious, a look at the closer shot given below (click to zoom) reveals that the underlying structure of the building is now failing, putting the whole structure at risk.

The spine of this gallery is now visibly distorted, showing that structural integrity of the cast iron framework is failing, and parts are moving.

The ridge should be straight – it is now distorted. Parts below should run straight and parallel to it. They no longer do so.

See also the fit and alignment of the framework around the windows.

Windows no longer fit, and the surrounding structure is curved rather than straight and aligned.

Click to zoom detail

I haven’t seen it appear to look so bad on previous visits.

I hope we don’t have any heavy or lasting snow falls during this winter (or any to come).

Most people don’t realise it, but water weighs 1 tonne per cubic metre, and snow is basically frozen water, so not far off that figure..

For comparison, a car now weighs around 1.5 tonnes (I’m not even guessing what a hulking SUV weighs).

Picture this structure with a line cars sitting on top – how long would it support them, and what might the effect of adding a few more be, or just increasing that load by mixing in some storm or hurricane force wind?

Reminder, from a year ago.

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

21/01/2018 Posted by | Appeal, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Legacy Hub at night

This is unusual. Evidence of life here.

I generally walk past this – The Legacy Hub – during daylight hours, but must do so on the wrong days as it always seems to be closed and deserted. Which is odd, given it houses the area’s Medical Centre.

While that appears to be open (the section to the right), I still don’t see anybody using the seated area to the left, signed as a café.

I’ve read that this smaller building/extension was part of a deal done to be allowed to parachute the big empty Emirate Arena that lies behind. I guess the name is a sop to the once often repeated ‘Lasting Legacy’ promised to residents in the wake of the silly 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Legacy Hub Night

Legacy Hub Night

Apart from taking this shot just to see if I could (remember, I don’t use a tripod, all shots are handheld), and test a lesson.

The night shot part is interesting in this case, as the sky, almost black when the pic was taken, is almost a match for the façade.

I did knock back the brightness in the café area, as it was so bright it almost blew out the internal detail.

The lesson?

Normally I insist on catching whole buildings, and avoiding cut-off roofs, corners, or ends.

That usually means having to correct the perspective later, as the camera has to be tilted.

This time, I tried to avoid my natural instinct and hold the camera level (almost – that missing upper vertex was killing me).

Well, what do you know? It works, and no perspective post-processing needed.

I left in a little converging perspective.

I see many pics that have had ALL the perspective edited out, and have perfectly vertical building edges.

I think these look horribly unnatural, as the human eye is used to seeing buildings with at least some perspective, and all natural views (what you see for real with your eyes) demonstrate converging perspective as verticals lead up to a natural vanishing point.

14/12/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commonwealth farce continues with four-month road work embargo for Glasgow

While I’ve generally withdrawn from public criticism of the insanity known as the Commonwealth Games 2014 – the reason for that is simply to avoid being associated with any of the truly vitriolic and offensive anti-Games sites that have been set up – some of the pandering to this waste of money for a few élite just can’t go without mention.

The latest imposition on the citizens of Glasgow is a four-month embargo on road works – lest we delay any of the élite as they try to make their way around.

Road works will be suspended for four months leading up to the start of the ‘fun’:

An agreement between the city council and major utility firms will mean that as many as 4,000 projects will be brought forward or delayed to ensure minimal disruption to the Games.

However, the announcement has raised concerns that “a frenzy of works” will result in major congestion issues as the deadline for the suspension of works approaches.

Roadworks such as resurfacing and general improvements will also be halted for the duration of the Games within restricted areas.

A report on the plan states: “To complement the [transport] plan and to ensure the free flow of traffic, cyclists and pedestrians on our road networks throughout Games time, it is proposed to introduce an embargo on disruptive roadworks from April 22 until August 5.

“These restrictions will apply to the Games Route Network, other key arterial routes within the city and to areas surrounding venues and live sites. The embargo will apply to all works planned by statutory undertakers and developers.”

Via Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: Roadworks embargo – Transport – The Scotsman

Apparently we are supposed to believe this is no different from the run up to things such as Christmas. I just checked this tester I borrowed:


I’m not going to go searching, but I seem to recall the same council telling us that road works generally came to an end some time around October, and did not restart until spring, so it’s kind of had to give any credibility to a statement that this ludicrous suspension of road work for the games is in any way similar to any works suspension for the Christmas period.

The roads are falling apart, road users are already being taken for mugs as Road Tax (by whatever name) was killed off years ago, and VED (vehicle excise duty) just goes into the Treasury pot with no ring-fencing.

The people of Glasgow have been promised a Lasting Legacy from the Commonwealth Games – now we know what it will be – even more decrepit roads than we had before the Shames.

This embargo will put road works back not months, but years, as contractors wrangle over who is responsible for subsequent delays, and additional damage resulting from even more repairs being delayed.

I suppose the really sad thing about this is… the roads are so bad and the work is so far behind, this embargo and delay will not actually make any difference.

I’m surprised the cyclists have not already set up a campaign to have this decision reversed

Five year study

The first results of a five year survey which will gauge the impact (they call it “success of the games”, language which seem to suggest they have already decided what the result will be) of this nonsense were published recently, and will form the baseline for study.

Not too sure how cleverly the population has been chosen in order to ensure a positive result, but the sample does seem to have been carefully engineered. Academics from Glasgow University spoke to 1,015 householders, and the study to evaluate the Scottish government’s Legacy 2014 programme covered Parkhead, Bridgeton, Calton, Camlachie, Dalmarnock and Gallowgate.

See Mixed findings in Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth survey

And Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games east end residents survey | Glasgow & West | News | STV

I will be looking out for this survey over the next five years, and adding articles spotted to this Blog for later comparison.

28/08/2013 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Lasting Legacy’ of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Shames

Money changing handsI have referred to the Glasgow 2014 money pit as The Commonwealth Shames, but such wit grows tiresome if overplayed, so I have not pursued the metaphor too often.

However, it looks as if I was right, and Glasgow’s reputation now does have the Lasting Legacy that the games’ organisers promised – but probably not the one they wanted to be found out for:

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games chief John Scott quits

John Scott John Scott has stepped down as chief executive of the Glasgow 2014 organising committee

John Scott stepped down after admitting breaking rules over accepting gifts and hospitality from a potential supplier.

A statement from the organising committee, said Mr Scott deeply regretted his mistake.

David Grevemberg, the chief operating officer, will take charge of the organising committee until a permanent chief executive appointment is made.

Lord Smith, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: “John Scott has made an important contribution to the planning of what we believe will be an outstanding Games.

“The board has accepted his resignation for an error of judgement he made in accepting, and not declaring, an offer from one of Glasgow 2014’s potential suppliers, in breach of the organising committee’s strict gifts and gratuities policy.

“I know he deeply regrets this mistake and this was a job that he loved. It is a measure of the man that he has put the values and reputation of the OC ahead of his own at this time.”

He said that because Mr Scott was was (sic) largely responsible for setting the committee’s standards of governance he felt he could not continue in his role as chief executive under the circumstances.

BBC News – Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games chief John Scott quits

Glasgow Commonwealth Games chief resigns after breaking gift rules | Glasgow and West | STV News

Thanks very much John Scott – you’re just the advert Glasgow needs.

27/06/2011 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment


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