Pollokshields is in an old area on the south side of Glasgow that has a multicultural population and mixed levels of deprivation.
To hear what the community wanted for the area in the future, Pollokshields Community Council organised a charrette, part-funded by Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council but also by local donors. Around four hundred people from the community participated and the charrette allowed the community council to create a local plan for the area, highlighting what was important to people, what residents wanted, and what could be done to achieve common goals and ultimately regenerate the area socially and economically. The community council is now looking to form a Development Trust to take the local plan forward.
When the Turner Prize was being held at Tramway in Pollokshields, the community council felt it was important to use the derelict land across from the venue to create a space where residents could come together, create their own art and organise their own events.
With agreement from the landowner to use the space for a year and funding from several grants and donations, the community developed Pollokshields Playhouse on the derelict land.
The Playhouse was a venue for events and activities and also functioned as an outdoor workshop. Volunteers and children helped out after school and were encouraged to experiment and build things, making the space their own. There was a social space with an outdoor fire, wooden stalls for pop-up shops and activities, a performance space with a frame for a cinema screen, and a container that was used to screen films to smaller audiences.
Different events took place at the Playhouse, from taster sessions in different types of dance to Pollywood screenings, Pollokshields’ community cinema.
The stalled space agreement for the Playhouse site has now finished.
Bill Fraser, community councillor in Pollokshields Community Council, said, "Pollokshields Playhouse was a year-long experiment where the community built, curated, and ran an art and culture outdoor space in Pollokshields. Although we have packed up our equipment and stored it in containers for another day the enthusiasm for such a place has not been put in a steel box. As we speak, the community is now reflecting on how and when Playhouse can rise again. Watch this space!"
A short film marking the close of the Playhouse can be seen at https://vimeo.com/192974858.
The Playhouse and the charrette are ways that Pollokshields Community Council has engaged and collaborated with the community. These have helped bring this diverse area together and have encouraged people to socialise and participate in the community.
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