Q & A

Merchant City Park - a place for people in the City

Why should there be a Merchant City Park? (MCP) 

  • A group of Merchant City & Trongate Community Councillors (MCTCC) agreed, after withdrawal of a Planning Application for an Hotel at 69-97 Ingram Street, that a Public Park would be a better option.
  • A local SurveyMonkey questionnaire confirmed that there was overwhelming support for this proposal.
  • Street interviews at the Merchant City Festival heard of the wish for an open space park, over another building, and strong opinions in favour of preserving existing trees and Old Fruit Market mural artwork.
  • Glasgow Council City Centre regeneration strategies calling for more green public spaces for people.
  • Extensive scientific evidence, like the City Parks Forum Briefing Papers, detail a Park’s many benefits.

Why should a Park be here?

  • The Ingram Street Site has been undeveloped since demolition of earlier buildings, over 40 years ago.
  • Past attempts to build on the plot have failed, partly due to height restrictions in this conservation area.
  • An MCP to the east would enhance a recognised lack of green Public space in Glasgow city centre with just, a usually locked, Blythswood Square to the west and George Square, often closed off for events.
  • An MCP could aid management of major events, with visitors often directed to the Merchant City area. 
  • An MCP here would be a convenient half way destination between George Square and Glasgow Green.
  • Park and surrounding Cafés and Restaurants would attract locals and visitors in a symbiotic relationship.
  • The growing number of residents in the area need a place nearby to unwind, meet others and socialise.

Why should there be a Park now?

  • Glasgow City Council (GCC) strategies for development and regeneration call to empower local people to create multi functional green, child friendly public space in the centre, and redevelop vacant land.
  • The Vision for an attractive, people friendly city centre fostering resilience and promoting social cohesion is more than ever vitally needed for the city and its citizens to recover and re-connect after the lockdown.
  • The MCP group is in place to proceed, only threatened by City Property (Glasgow) marketing activities.

Why not have Housing, an Hotel or Car Park, with an income for Glasgow Council?

  • GCC’s objective for more people in the area will be met by new builds at Candleriggs and King Street.
  • Success in attracting visitors to Glasgow has lead to a major Hotel building boom to cater for demand.
  • Curbing off street parking is a policy to reduce car dependance and be more walking and cycle friendly.
  • GCC’s policy is to attract visitors, skilled workers and inward investment with a value for money Vision (1).

Won’t the Avenues make the City green

  • Avenues re-order street priorities and create green corridors. Ingram Street is not included in the plans.

Wouldn’t a Park attract vagrants and anti-social behaviour?

  • A well used community Park here, overlooked by residents and CCTV, will discourage any misconduct.

Who would the Park be for?

  • This Park would be entirely inclusive, open for residents, visitors, tourists and the wider general public.
  • People could simply be refreshed in nature, rest, read, meet up, mix, chat, walk the dog or play games.
  • Children would have a safe place, away from traffic, with a contour slide on the hill for kids of all ages.
  • Age UK say a million people are lonely, isolated. MCP would give a social place to visit and meet others.
  • Patrons of City Halls or Old Fruit Market could join up here before events and stay on to talk afterwards. 
  • An outline layout proposal includes the existing trees, has special seating features, with traditional Park grass and plantings and a special Events area for small scale Markets, Fairs, Shows, Music or Games.
  • The open area would aid climate resilience as a soak away, and possible future ground heat pump use.
  • A Green space in the City will be a boon for all sorts of nature and wildlife to prosper.
(1) See extracts from the City Centre 2050 – Strategic Development Framework